Latest Oklahoma State Legislature News

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 18, 2020 file photo, the House chamber at the state Capitol is empty in St. Paul, Minn., with some desks marked with an

Virus concerns lead to `public' meetings without the public

Mar. 21, 2020 11:39 AM EDT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — First, Oklahoma lawmakers excluded the public from the Capitol because of coronavirus concerns. Then with the public gone, lawmakers made an emergency change to the state's open-meetings law to let all governmental entities meet via video or teleconference, so long as people can...

Gary Poindexter, left, and Christopher Brown laugh as they leave the at the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center after being released Thursday, March 19, 2020 in Tulsa, Oka.. A special docket was created to expedite release of those locked up on low level offenses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)

Oklahoma Legislature closes, coronavirus increases in state

Mar. 20, 2020 4:14 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Capitol will be nearly vacant next week after the state House and Senate announced Friday that the Legislature will be shut down due to the spread of the coronavirus. "Senators and our staff remain in constant contact with the governor and other executive branch officials...

Michael Fowler wears a face mask while waiting for a Tulsa Transit bus at the Denver Avenue Station Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Fowler had the flu recently and said he really doesn't want to get sick again. He wants to be ready and ward off the coronavirus. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)

Legislature approves open meeting changes amid outbreak

Mar. 17, 2020 6:34 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Legislature approved sweeping changes to the state's Open Meeting Act on Tuesday to allow government bodies to meet via teleconference, a move that was in response to the coronavirus outbreak and alarmed open government advocates who worried the changes were too extreme....

Oklahoma Senate votes to ban abortions after 6 weeks

Mar. 12, 2020 6:27 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate approved legislation Thursday to essentially prohibit abortions in Oklahoma after six weeks of pregnancy. The Senate voted 36-8 for the bill, which now heads to the House for consideration. The bill by Republican Sen. Paul Scott of Duncan would prohibit doctors from...

Oklahoma Senate votes to hike penalties for drug possession

Mar. 11, 2020 6:22 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate voted Wednesday to increase penalties for drug possession near schools, drawing criticism from proponents of a state question in 2016 that made such crimes misdemeanors. The Senate voted 35-12 for legislation to make it a felony to possess methamphetamine, heroin,...

House seeks vote making it harder to get questions on ballot

Mar. 10, 2020 7:51 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House approved a measure on Tuesday that would make it more difficult for citizens to get state questions on the ballot. The House voted 66-30, mostly along party lines with Democrats opposed, for House Joint Resolution 1027 to require signatures from a certain percentage...

Oklahoma scraps bill restricting minors' marriages

Mar. 10, 2020 5:49 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma lawmakers rejected a bill that would have stripped from parents and legal guardians of minors the legal power to consent to their marriages. The measure by Democratic Rep. Jason Dunnington from Oklahoma City failed Monday in the Republican-controlled House on a vote of 60-35...

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2020, file photo, Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat reacts to the governor's State of the State address at a news conference following his speech in Oklahoma City. Most retired school teachers, firefighters and other public workers would receive their first pension increase in 12 years under a bill that sailed through the Oklahoma House on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Treat said this week he personally supports the new payment approach, but there's not a consensus among Senate Republicans. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams, File)

House OKs cost-of-living increase for public pensioners

Mar. 10, 2020 4:24 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Most retired school teachers, firefighters and other public workers would receive their first pension increase in 12 years under a bill that sailed through the Oklahoma House on Tuesday. Members voted 99-0 for the bill to give a 4% cost-of-living allowance, or COLA, to about 85% of...

Oklahoma House backs "In God We Trust" legislation

Mar. 4, 2020 2:54 PM EST

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has backed a bill that would require hundreds of public buildings in the state to display the national motto, “In God We Trust.” The House voted 76-20 on Tuesday in favor of the bill, sending it to the Senate, The Oklahoman reported. Critics say the...

Senate narrowly passes bill requiring kids to buckle up

Feb. 24, 2020 6:11 PM EST

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Children under the age of 17 would be required to wear seat belts in vehicle back seats under a bill narrowly passed Monday by the Oklahoma Senate. The bill, which passed on a 25-22 vote, changes current law that requires only children younger than age 8 to wear seat belts in the back...