Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans have new representation at the State Capitol.
A freshman class of 16 state representatives and eight state senators has started prefiling bills and will begin voting on measures after the legislative session convenes on Feb. 6.
From ranchers to insurance agents to an attorney, the new lawmakers have varied professional backgrounds. While they aren’t barred from working a job outside the Capitol, state law prohibits elected officials from profiting through votes cast.
Weeks after taking the oath of office, newly elected lawmakers were required to disclose certain personal financial interests with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. The form asks officeholders to list any personal, spousal or dependent stakes in private businesses or investments exceeding $20,000 or ownership of a private company exceeding 5% or $50,000. Lawmakers also must report income outside of officeholder pay that exceeds $20,000.
Incumbent lawmakers have a May 15 deadline to submit personal financial disclosure forms for the calendar year 2022.
There has been a heightened awareness of potential conflicts of interest at the Capitol following the December 2021 indictment of Rep. Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa. An Oklahoma County grand jury stated in their indictment that O’Donnell improperly sponsored legislation that allowed his wife to run a tag agency. O’Donnell, who was re-elected to the Legislature in November, has denied wrongdoing.
Oklahoma Watch obtained the most recent legislative financial disclosure reports through an open records request and has included them in a searchable and sortable database. Unsure of what district you live in? Input your address into the state’s Find my Legislator tool to find out.
To share a story tip or report an issue with the database, email reporter Keaton Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.