Oklahoma Legislature Making Headlines

The Oklahoma Legislature recommended impeachment of President Obama (and several other federal admins) because The White House distributed guidance to public schools about how to accommodate transgender students with regard to facility usage, such as bathrooms and locker rooms. In response to the White House issued directive allowing children to use the facilities of the gender with which they identify, the Oklahoma Legislature introduced SB 1619.

Fun Facts

Republicans in the Oklahoma Legislature outnumber Democrats 111-38.
Governor: Mary Fallin (R-Tecumseh)
Lieutenant Governor: Todd Lamb (R-Enid)
President Pro Tem of the Senate: Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa)
Floor Leader: Mike Schulz (R-Altus)
Speaker of the House: Jeff W. Hickman (R-Fairview)
Speaker Pro Tempore: Lee Denney (R-Cushing)
Floor Leader: Charles Ortega (R-Altus)

SB 1619

Authored by Bingman (R-Sapulpa) and Hickman (R-Fairview). “Schools; accommodation of facilities; codifcation; effective date. Emergency.” A fresh approach for identifying and segregating transgender students. “It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.” Prohibiting the use of a certain facility for compliance with a federal guideline… and transgender suppression are an “emergency” according to the Oklahoma state government…. “a student enrolled in the school district or the parent or legal guardian of a student enrolled in the school district may request a religious accommodation.” Trans-free facilities must be provided according to this bill co-authored by 20 elected officials. (Bill Link) (Article Link)

Co-Sponsors of the BATHROOM Bill, SB1619:

Rep. Jeffrey Hickman [R-Fairview]
Rep. Dan Fisher [R-El Reno]
Sen. Brian Bingman [R-Sapulpa]
Rep. Sally Kern [R-Oklahoma City]
Sen. Anthony Sykes [R-Moore]
Rep. George Faught [R-Muskogee]
Rep. Jason Murphey [R-Guthrie]
Sen. Gary Stanislawski [R-Tulsa]
Rep. Mike Ritze [R-Broken Arrow]
Sen. Mark Allen [R-Spiro]
Sen. Josh Brecheen [R-Coalgate]
Rep. John R. Bennett [R-Sallisaw]
Rep. Sean Roberts [R-Hominy]
Rep. David Brumbaugh [R-Broken Arrow]
Sen. Nathan Dahm [R-Broken Arrow]
Rep. Bobby Cleveland [R-Slaughterville]
Rep. Terry O’Donnell [R-Catoosa]
Rep. Chuck Strohm [R-Jenks]
Sen. Joseph Silk [R-Broken Bow]

SB 1552

Authored by Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) and Brumbaugh (R-Tulsa), would make it a felony for physicians to perform abortions in the state, a direct violation of Roe v. Wade. The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 40-7 and 59-9 in the House. Message received: “Women deserve DIY abortions. Back to the stone age.” (Article Link)

SB 1187

Authored by Jolley and Hickman (R-Fairview), the School District Empowerment Act, would allow school districts to opt out of state educational requirements, including …

  1. Elimination of the teacher’s minimum salary schedule.
  2. Elimination of the requirement for school districts to participate in the Oklahoma Teacher’s Retirement System (OTRS).
  3. Elimination of school district provided health insurance.
  4. Elimination of criminal background checks on school employees.
  5. Elimination of teacher evaluation and due process protections.
  6. Elimination of payroll deduction.
  7. Elimination of due process protections for support staff.
  8. Elimination of all certification requirements for all school district positions.
  9. Elimination of negotiations between a school district and employees.
  10. Elimination of student curriculum requirements.
  11. Elimination of required continuing education for local board of education members.

Thus “…freeing Public School Districts of the enormous burden that is Government Regulation” (Article Link)

SB 1604

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville), makes the earned-income tax credit nonrefundable so those who don’t pay taxes won’t get a refund; estimate would generate $28.9 million for the state budget. “Income tax credits; limiting time period during which certain credit is refundable.  Effective date” This bill would impact poor families by potentially taking a state tax benefit away. The NY Times published an article about this, click the image to read their story. “Oklahoma Legislature … cutting an average $147 a year from the income of 200,000 households.”

HB 1827

Authored by Martin (R-Norman) and Standridge (R-Norman), which would raise fees on funeral homes and institute a true “Death Tax” by creating a new fee on the filing of death certificates. Directs the Oklahoma Funeral Board to set all fees. “Professions and occupations; Funeral Services Licensing Act; modifying fees; effective date.

HB 1566

Authored by Mulready (R-Tulsa) and David (R-Porter). Republicans come with HB-1566, which would privatize Medicaid and balance the budget on the backs of “non-institutionalized aged, blind, and disabled persons.” The bill directed the authority to request proposals from independent vendors who could coordinate health care for aged, blind or disabled people currently enrolled in SoonerCare, the state’s version of Medicaid.

HB 3210

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville), aka the tobacco tax. A proposal to raise the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack.

HB 2797

Authored by Coody (R-Lawton) and Griffin (R-Guthrie), would create the Humanity of the Unborn Child Act would create a new fund dedicated to spending money on public anti-abortion efforts, especially in schools. Oklahoma state law doesn’t require any sex education whatsoever.

SB 1582

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville): caps the total amount of statewide credits manufacturers will be allowed for capital investment or new jobs for tax years 2016 through 2018 at $25 million annually; would generate an estimated $14 million annually.

HB 3218

Authored by Bingman (R-Sapulpa) and Hickman (R-Fairview). Schools; modifying school testing requirements; effective date; emergency. This bill seeks to abolish end-of-instruction (EOI) tests which are currently required for Oklahoma high school graduation. State schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister praised the 95-1 House vote, calling it a “momentous step” to help improve education in Oklahoma. (Article Link)

SB 1605

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville): eliminates the child-care facility credit; would generate an estimated $129,000. Income tax credits; prohibiting certain use of tax credits for certain entities providing child care services.  Effective date.

SB 1606

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville): would generate $97 million by ending the double deduction that allows some taxpayers to deduct state taxes twice. Income tax adjustments; requiring certain amounts deducted on federal return be added to Oklahoma income under specified conditions.  Effective date.

HB 2531

Authored by Caldwell (R-Enid) and Ford (R-Bartlesville): Revenue and taxation; creating the Retail Protection Act of 2016; sales tax; effective date, attempts to require many online retailers to add that tax to the purchase price.

SB 1085

Authored by Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) and Billy (R-Purcell): State is begging for handouts. It creates a way for Oklahoma taxpayers to check a box on their state tax refunds and specify an amount of their refund (or other monies) to be donated to the state’s general revenue fund. (Article Link)

SB 1577

Authored by Bingman (R-Sapulpa) and Hickman (R-Fairview). Ownbey filed an amendment seeking to cap the at-risk oil and gas well tax credit at $25 million annually.

SB 1583

Authored by Bingman (R-Sapulpa) and Hickman (R-Fairview). State government; modifying space in State Capitol under management and control of Legislature; modifying duties of certain committee; repealer. This would require architectural drawings be made of the Capitol for the establishment of vending areas.

SB 1596

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). Department of Labor; modifying positions in unclassified service.  Effective date.

SB 1597

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry; modifying positions in unclassified service.  Effective date.

SB 1598

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). Commissioners of the Land Office; modifying positions in unclassified service.  Effective date.

SB 1599

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). Secretary of State; modiifying positions in unclassified service.  Effective date.

SB 1600

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). Oklahoma Historical Society; modifying positions in unclassified service.  Effective date.

SB 1601

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors; modifying positions in unclassified service.  Effective date.

SB 1602

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). Agency director qualifications; modifying qualifications for certain positions.

SB 1603

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). Income tax credit; limiting time period during which certain credit shall be allowed, which relates to income tax credit for expenditures incurred by certain contractors.

HB 3206

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville): would authorize OMES to certify any funds remaining in the cash-flow reserve fund in December as available for transfer and appropriation; would save an estimated $125 million, would allow the state to roll over money in the Cash Flow Reserve Fund from year to year.

HB 3207

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). Water and water rights; Grand River Dam Authority; payment of certain revenues; effective date

HB 3208

Authored by Jolley (R-Edmond) and Sears (R-Bartlesville). Motor vehicles; license plate reissuance; registration fees; apportionment of certain funds; effective date



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Scott Mellgren is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, architect and musician. His interests are as varied as this website.