Oklahoma Lawmakers File More Than 2K Bills For Legislative Session

Friday, January 20th 2017, 7:23 pm
By: Karl Torp

We're getting a better idea of what state lawmakers will focus on this upcoming session, and how heavy their workload might be. The bill filing deadline was Thursday.

In a year where lawmakers will have to at least be largely focused on figuring out how to just maintain basic government services in the face of another massive revenue shortfall, they seem quite ambitious, if bills filed is any indication, anyway.

State Senators filed a total of 831 bills, compared to 636 last year, and 815 in 2015, at the start of the last legislative cycle.

Over in the House, the members filed 1,340 bills; that compares to 921 last year and 1,219 two years ago. So, a total of 2,171 bills filed.

All these bills are, of course, listed on the legislature's website. News 9 did some checking and found that 55 bills are education-related, with at least six aimed at giving teachers a pay raise.

Twenty-nine bills are related to taxation, including four that would provide more sales tax exemptions.

There are 18 firearms-related bills, including one that would allow someone with a valid handgun license to take their gun into the Capitol.

There's one bill to outlaw all use of cell phones while driving, and a bill to repeal the law passed in 2015 that took away the right of individual cities and towns to ban oil and gas drilling.

Those are some of the highlights, but it's important to note that these don't include the budget bills. Those will be filed later. The rules also allow for other “substantial” bills to be filed after the deadline.