OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Lawmaker stared down high stakes at the start of the 2023 Oklahoma Legislative session.

In the past Governor Stitt prioritized issues like taxes, education, marijuana and jobs.

During Monday’s State of the State speech, the Governor celebrated cutting the budget deficit and increasing the state’s saving account, cutting taxes, and investigating in infrastructure and education, while specifically noting school choice and asking for the legislature to support a ban on gender affirming care.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Charles McCall addressed some of these priorities, including school choice during a meeting with Oklahoma press this week.

“[School vouchers] never made it out of the senate so we know the senate’s not interested in it,” he said.

Lawmakers did that this week, advancing a bill that would limit gender affirming surgery or medication to anyone under the age of 18.

In his state address, Stitt also called for tax cuts for Oklahomans, highlighting $4 billion dollars in state savings and a $1.8 billion dollar budget surplus.

Oklahoma Democrats responded to the State of the State late Monday afternoon.

“Our caucus has five priorities this session: protect and support students and teachers; help Oklahomans find good jobs and pay their bills; make it easier to get the healthcare you need; improve neighborhood safety with smart criminal justice reforms; and give every Oklahoman a fair shot regardless of their race or ethnicity,” said Senate Democratic leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City in a partial statement.

“Rather than siphoning taxpayer dollars into a voucher scheme that will defund schools, we are calling on our colleagues to put the $4 billion in savings they are so proud of to good use addressing real problems like COVID learning loss and employment shortages in education and healthcare,” she added.

“There will be some interesting and maybe some colorful legislation introduced from all 101 members of the house,” said McCall.

“The tough part about policy is finding policy that works everywhere.”