Putting a bow on nearly fourth months of debate on several hundred bills, Oklahoma lawmakers adjourned sine die from the 2023 legislative session on Friday afternoon.

In hours-long committee hearings and floor proceedings, lawmakers accomplished their top priority of the week, introducing and advancing a state budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024. While Gov. Kevin Stitt could veto portions of the budget, lawmakers have positioned themselves to be able to return to the Capitol in June and override possible rejections. Click here to read more about the budget and see how much agencies are set to receive.

The Legislature also moved to override more than a dozen gubernatorial vetoes, including measures authorizing the Oklahoma Education Television Authority as a state entity through 2026 and allowing students to wear tribal regalia during graduation ceremonies.

Back-and-forth negotiations over additional education policy dominated several weeks of the session, at times bringing other legislative work to a near standstill. But the Legislature still managed to chip away at policy reforms affecting a cross-section of Oklahomans.

I took some time to evaluate what the Legislature did and didn’t accomplish for taxpayers, healthcare providers and patients, criminal justice stakeholders and voters and election officials.

Have thoughts on the policies I covered in this series and what Oklahoma Watch should dive deeper into? What about issues that I didn’t cover that you think we should investigate? Let me know at kross@oklahomawatch.org. (I’m taking some time off this week, but I’ll try get back to you by Friday)

What I’m Reading This Week

  • After Oklahoma’s Sweeping Abortion Ban, Many Bills to Improve Maternal Health Still Failed: The bills included proposals requiring hospitals to make a “good-faith effort” to report all maternal deaths during pregnancy and up to a year after to the state medical examiner’s office, as well as requiring the state’s Medicaid program to cover donor human milk. [The Frontier]
  • Oklahoma Broadband Upgrade Efforts Gaining Speed: Work to create an updated broadband service map for the state should be completed in August, about the same time the OBO plans to award proposals to internet service providers who submitted plans last year to provide service to areas of the state with no or poor levels of high-speed internet service. [NonDoc]
  • ‘We Will Strive to Survive the Ryan Walters Time’: Oklahoma Superintendents Respond to Walters’ Claims, Rhetoric: More than three-quarters of state superintendents who responded to a StateImpact survey said they’ve had no direct contact with State Superintendent Ryan Walters. [KOSU]

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