More than 300 laws go into effect in Oklahoma Friday. The most controversial of the bunch is likely permitless carry, allowing people to carry a gun without a license or training. But there are plenty of others that will impact your daily life.
These new laws mean state prisons will be a little bit emptier, you might be able to drive a little bit faster, and the state will have a new heavenly body.
On Friday, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is expected to commute the sentences of as many as 500 inmates convicted of non-violent crimes that today would be misdemeanors. Donations will allow those inmates to get state ID’s or drivers licenses when they’re released at no cost to them or to taxpayers.
“A basic state ID is necessary to, it’s necessary to rent a place to live, and really just to get started,” said Kris Steele with Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform.
Senate Bill 142 would require nursing homes to reduce their use of anti-psychiatric drugs on residents; House Bill 1259 allows voters to take a picture of their ballots; and House Bill 2325 allows adults to bring accompanied minors into liquor stores.
“I don’t see an issue with it as long as they’re accompanied with a parent. And it will make it easier for the customer. They don’t have to worry about, ‘hey, my kids in the car or I have to take my kid home before I can go to the liquor store,’” said Ken Kilbourn, owner of Market Wine & Liquor.
House Bill 1071 will allow the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to increase speeds on some rural highways to 75 miles per hour and 80 miles per hour on turnpikes. But the new law doesn't mean you can put the hammer down yet. ODOT has to conduct studies first.
“ODOT’s in the process of doing those traffic studies to see what speed limit changes might be supported, but of course safety is the number one factor,” said Cody Boyd with ODOT.
House Bill 2325 names The Rosette Nebula, a cloud of space dust some 5,000 light years away, the official astronomical object of Oklahoma. The measure passed overwhelmingly in the legislature with just a few lawmakers calling it a waste of time and space.
“A lot of bills that would have protected individual rights whether that’s Second Amendment, free speech, Fourth Amendment protections, a lot of those things weren’t even heard in committee, and then we’re going to be focused on these types of things,” Senator Nathan Dahm (R) Broken Arrow said when the bill passed.