Week three in the legislature was a frenzy as chambers swung between being open and closed due to the weather. Both chambers were closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the Senate stayed closed while the House ran business as usual. Thursday both chambers were in session and Friday (usually a day off for our state leaders) only the Senate was in session in order to catch up on meetings missed over the snow days.

However, this week has been pivotal for the fight to protect our right to peacefully assemble. Several bills passed committee seeking to set up barriers to participating in the right to protest.

There were also a number of bills that passed through committee which will affect our right to vote and make this practice either more or less fair. I have included the gist of one of the discussions around a bill (HB 1767) seeking to detour the public for voting “yes” on state questions by including fiscal impact without return on investment.

A highly discriminatory bill seeking to require students to pass the naturalization test in order to graduate also made it out of committee this week.

On the subject of immigration and ICE, a bill made it through committee which would direct county jails to cooperate with ICE agents. A brief outline of the conversation around this subject and its constitutionality has been included below. It is important to know not only what is being discussed, but how it is being framed and talked about by those who seek to serve us.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help reaching out to your representatives.

Protest bills

SB 119; Allen
Requiring any person, groups, or organizations to submit an application for a permit to gather on capitol grounds and specifying other requirements for the gathering.
DO PASS; 7 AYES; 2 NAYES

HB 2215; McDugle
Established penalties for blocking roads during protests.
DO PASS 6 AYE; 1 NAYE

HB 2095; Lepak
Adds unlawful assembly to racketeering statutes.
DO PASS: 7 AYES; 0 NAYES

Voting

HB 2663; Echols
The bill would add an extra day (Wednesday) for early in-person voting during presidential years.
1. Fiscal impact of $150,000

DO PASS; 5 AYES; 0 NAY

HB 1016; Ranson
Ends straight party voting.
FAILED: 1 AYE; 4 NAYES

HB 1767; Roberts
Committee substitute was added. The amendment clarifies that SQ’s with a fiscal impact statement have a word limit of 300.
If an initiative has a fiscal impact on the state, the amount must be included on the ballot.
1. (Munson) Can you give some backstory for why this is necessary?
a. (Roberts) For example, SQ 802 did not include a fiscal impact statement and now the state must incur further debt.
2. (Munson) Do you think that the SQ should also include the return if it is an investment such as 802?
a. (Roberts) returns are arbitrary.
3. (Munson) Do you think that included the fiscal impact will deter voters from voting yes for things that would be beneficial for them?
a. (Roberts) People should know they are voting to incur more debt.
4. (Olsen) how often would a second page be necessary?
a. (Roberts) I am not familiar with the second page question
b. (Olsen) If an initiative requires a second page, this could cost the state up to five hundred or six hundred thousand dollars
5. (Steagall) Is this not similar to how we draft our bills here in the legislature?
a. (Roberts) yes
b. (Munson) I know you are new, but sometimes the legislature votes for bills without knowing the fiscal impact
DO PASS; 4 AYES; 1 NAYE

HB 1027; Ranson

Requires schools to develop and offer violence de-escalation programs which include training in evidence-based trauma informed teaching for school personnel

DO PASS 13 YEA, 0 NAY

Discrimination

HB 2030; O’Donnell,

Requiring students pass a naturalization test to graduate
Waldron asked wouldn’t it make sense to give more funding instead of more mandates if we are concerned about the quality of education?
DO PASS 11 YAE, 3 NAY

Immigration

SB 781; Bullard
Directs county jails to cooperate with ICE agents.
1. (Brooks) What is an ice detainer?
a. (Bullard) someone who comes to interrogate non-citizens.
2. (Brooks) what is the significance of the word “detainer”
a. Take them into custody
3. (Brooks) did you know that a detainer is a fax document that instructs a jail to hold a person for additional 48 hours when they would have been released?
a. I did not.
4. (Brooks) Who pays for extra 48 hours?
a. County or the detention facility
5. Is there any means for them to be reimbursed?
a. I don’t know
i. Did you know there isn’t a way to be reimbursed?
6. Do you have any estimate of the fiscal impact?
a. do you have data on the amount of requests?
i. (Brooks) well I have worked with these issues for many years and in my professional opinion a thousand is a reasonable estimate.
7. (Brooks) Is there any legal authority that authorizes them to send these detainers?
a. we would be supporting federal jurisdiction
8. (Brooks) Do you know the federal government only has statutory authorization for drug offense detainers?
a. No
9. (Brooks) Do you know that ICE is sending detainers in all cases without legal authority? Immigration detainers are unlawful because they are not issued by a neutral magistrate. Have you looked at those cases?
a. I have. We also have an understanding this has already been upheld by the supreme court.
10. (Brooks) There was a case in 2020 (Gonzales vs. ICE) that held the 48 hour detainment is unconstitutional. It is an unlawful search and seizure of a person
11. (Matthews) Requires all sheriffs, jailors, or prison keepers to honor all detainer requests. Is that not already the law?
a. (Bullard) case of Oklahoma city jail refused.
12. (Matthews) This is us trying to comply with the federal government who does not have to compensate us and we want to codify this into state law?
a. (Bullard) Jails are reimbursed with the federal marshal rate. So there is some reimbursement.
13. (Bergrstom) Are we talking about ICE dealing with U.S citizens or non-citizens
a. Non citizens
14. (Bergstom) Does this change the appropriateness of working with ICE
a. I believe so
15. (Brooks) DA Prater understood detainers to be unlawful. What is the recourse for that person?
a. I don’t know.
16. (Brooks) who would that lawsuit be addressed to?
a. (Bullard) The county jail or municipal jail would be sued, but this law would protect them.
17. (Brooks) so we’re inviting people to sue the state of Oklahoma?
a. (Bullard) we’re protecting them from being sued
18. Any estimate for the cost to defend lawsuits?
a. No I don’t know
19. (Bergstrom) Do you know if the Supreme court ruled it unconstitutional?
a. I believe so
Debate
1. (Matthews) We are passing an unnecessary law and taking unnecessary liability for a problem that is not the state’s.
2. (Bergstrom) In Gonzales vs. ICE, that ruling applies to California. I do not believe that ruling applies or that the Supreme Court has ruled on this. We can get clarification later.

DO PASS: 9 AYES; 2 NAYES

Law Enforcement & Criminal Justice Reform

SB 858; Dugger
Bill shelters law enforcement officers from having personal information be made public information.
DO PASS; 9 AYES, 0 NAYES

HB 2505; Kannady
Requires an additional hearing by a judge to determine if an officer acted in self -defense. Determinations of charges are then made by the judge.
DO PASS: 8 AYES; 0 NAYES

SB 704; Rader

Prohibits sentence enhancements that exceed statutory limitations for nonviolent offenses.

Data shows Oklahomans spend more time in prison for nonviolent offenses because of sentence enhancements.

TITAL STRIKEN

SB 811; Pugh

Requires additional training for police officers. Requires a percentage of law enforcement to have crisis intervention training.

DO PASS; 11 AYES; 0 NAYS

Firearms

SB 186; Bullard
Creates a pathway for nonviolent felons to restore firearm rights.

Do Pass; 11 AYES; 0 NAYES

See CAIR-OK Policy Platform here https://www.cairoklahoma.com/blog/cair-ok-2021-policy-platform/
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