For better or worse, it’s here.
Today marks the start of Oklahoma’s 2022 legislative session.
That means after Gov. Kevin Stitt gives his fourth State of the State address, lawmakers will begin their work going through thousands of bills that are up for consideration this year.
After last month’s bill filling deadline, nearly 2,300 bills or resolutions were filed in advance of the session.
On top of that, there are nearly 2,500 carry-over legislative proposals from the 2021 session that are eligible to be heard this year.
Keeping track of what’s out there, what is still alive and where each legislation is headed next can be tough.
So here are a few tips to help track and monitor bills this year:
- First, all bills can be found on the Oklahoma Legislature’s website.
- You can search several different ways, including by bill number, author, status or subject (searching by subject, however, can be hit or miss depending on how the bills are sorted).
- To find a master list of all bills eligible for the 2022 session, select “current status” on the left most column, check the “all types” box under the “current status” heading in the middle and then click “retrieve.” You can then search for keywords (using Control + Find) in the bill short title to find bills on topics you are interested in.
- The Legislature has a personal bill tracking tool that allows you add bills and see where they are in the legislative process. I also recommend creating an Excel or Google Sheet list to keep track of the bills that are important to you. (Here is a template you can use or modify)
I used these tips to build a table of election and voting-related bills that are up for consideration this year. You can read about those proposal and see the nearly 75 bill I’ll be tracking this year in my latest piece for Oklahoma Watch.
But what bills are you watching this year? Or do you have your own tips on how you identify or track legislation. Let me know by emailing me at email@example.com or finding me on Twitter at @tbrownokc.
Tuesday is Election Day for much of Oklahoma.
The Feb. 8 elections will feature municipal races, including some high-profile mayoral contests, bond propositions and school board primaries.
What I’m Reading This Week
- Oklahoma’s multi-billion dollar budget is the landmark legislative action each spring. But the process it takes to complete is largely conducted in secret, negotiated among a few lawmakers and high-ranking government officials before the rest of the Legislature has a few days to approve it. [The Oklahoman]
- Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor won’t release an investigative audit into state Health Department spending that his predecessor requested in 2020. [The Frontier]
- Lawmakers and advocates say it’s getting harder for the public to know which high-profile, yet controversial measures likely are to make it through the legislative process. [CNHI]
- Oklahoma’s state auditor and inspector on Tuesday said mismanagement by co-founders of Epic Charter Schools is “the largest amount of reported abuse of taxpayer funds in the history of this state.” [Tulsa World]
- Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa, has filed a bill that would provide $300 million for damages to people and property during the Tulsa Race Massacre. [Black Wall Street Times]
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