OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Week number one of the Oklahoma legislative session is on the books.
It opened last week with Gov. Kevin Stitt’s State of the State address.
As we look forward to this week, the Legislature is set for its first full week back since things were cut short last March.
Lawmakers have a lot of bills to consider since so many were stalled last year by the pandemic.
“It will be very committee heavy and floor light,” said Senate Pro Temp Greg Treat (R- Oklahoma City.)
One of the bills that will be heard in a Senate committee on Monday is “Ida’s Law.”
Studies show Native American women and girls go missing at 10 times the rate of other peer groups. This bill would set up dedicated resources within state government to conduct and coordinate search efforts between state, federal, and tribal law enforcement.
Ida’s law was passed unanimously in the House last year but was never heard in the Senate, as it was stalled by the pandemic.
“Amy Coney Barrett changed a lot of equations judicially and politically and that filters down here,” said Sen. Greg McCortney of Ada.
A Senate committee approved five abortion restricting bills last week. Some lawmakers hoped that a bill that would make abortion illegal except for when the mother’s life is in danger would make it to Washington to to be heard by the Supreme Court.
But those same lawmakers did vote down the controversial bill to Abolish Abortion, SB495.
Supporters say they will still be at the Capitol this Wednesday for Abolish Abortion Day. Last year, we saw hundreds of protesters inside and outside the Capitol on that day.
One of the first pieces of legislation slated to wind up on the governor’s desk focuses on changes to the Open Meetings Act.
A new bill passed through Senate last week.
It would reinstate remote and virtual meetings for many government entities similar to the emergency changes enacted in 2020 made thanks to the pandemic.
Senate leaders say it’s the best way to try to keep people safe while following the law to allow public participation in government meetings. The bills are scheduled for the House floor on Monday.