Week 8 Legislative Session: Post Spring Break Shenanigans

Last week followed a break for the legislature. Many go back to their districts to connect with constituents over the spring hiatus.
At this point hundreds of bills have been weeded out, having not made it through hearing deadlines, and those remaining have at least a 41% chance of passing.A priority for leadership seems to be bills creating barriers to practicing civil protest. HB 1674 criminalizes the obstruction of roads during a protest and removes all liability from hitting a protester with one’s vehicle. SB 560 does essentially the same thing. (SB 560 actually failed in committee with a 4 to 4 vote. However, the Chair laid the bill over in order for it to be heard a second time in committee the next week…We’ll let you know what happens.) Both anti-protest bills were heard in committee and are well on their way to becoming law. Below are the highlights from this week. Enjoy 

Protest Bills

SB 560; West, Dahm
Those escaping from riots “reasonably” will not be subject to prosecution if hits person with motor vehicle
The bill failed: 4 ayes; 4 nays (HOWEVER, Chair offered to let West lay the bill over to be heard next week)

HB 1674; Standridge, West
criminalizes the obstruction of roads during a protest and removes all liability from hitting a protester with one’s vehicle
The bill passed: 8 ayes; 1 nay

Voting and Democracy Bills

HB 1751; Rader, Crosswhite-Hader
Committee sub
Candidates filing for office must show their current voter registration record.
The bill passed: 8 ayes; 1 nay

HB 1963; Stanley, Nollan
Request by the school board association; governor has the authority to appoint members when a schoolboard does not have enough members for a quorum.
The bill passed: 9 ayes; 1 nay

HB 2939; Murdock, Newton
Allows the secretary of the county election to not disclose the method of voting in that election. Two voters who voted early in a small town in Oklahoma were harassed by the community because they did not support a school bond. The “method” of voting will not be disclosed; such as early voting, absentee, etc.
The bill passed: 7 ayes; 2 nays

HB 2663; David, Echols
Committee sub
Adds one hour of early voting on Saturdays to align with other voting days. Adds an extra day of early voting for certain elections.
Bill passed: 9 ayes; 0 nays

Police Reform & Criminal Justice

SB 16; Bush, Floyd
Request from sexual assault evidence taskforce; collaboration between DA council and victim service unit; makes victims eligible to apply for compensation by the crime victims compensation board.
*No debates or questions
The bill passed: 8 ayes; 0 nays

SB 140; Newton, Brooks
Expands age limit for early release program. Lowest recidivation rate of any DOC program.
The bill passed: 4 ayes; 0 nays

SB 3; Humphrey, Bullard
Permits use of telemedicine by law enforcement for persons potentially in need of mental health treatment and divides responsibility for transport of such persons between law enforcement and the Dept. of Mental Health.
The bill passed: 5 ayes; 0 nays

SB 653; Ford, Newhouse
Law enforcement officers in counties with less than 255,000 will not serve on juries for civil trials
The bill passed: 8 ayes; 0 nays

HB 1880; Jech, West
Request bill from DA association. Creates a restorative justice system that is an alternative sentencing program. Creates a five-year pilot program for non-violent offenders through the DA council; “victim centered” as consent must be given by the victim for someone to enter into the program.
*No debate or questions
The bill passed: 9 ayes; 0 nays

Civil Rights Bills

HB 2648; Bullard, Hill
Similar to essential church bill. No government entity can put a substantial burden on churches.
*No debate or questions
The bill passed: 6 ayes; 3 nays

SB 2085; Bullard, McCall
A bill requiring the national motto “In God We Trust” to be placed on state buildings
The bill passed: 6 ayes; 2 nays