Bill filing deadline passed

We have passed the deadline for the third reading of bills in the House of Origin, meaning measures that were not heard by the March 23rd deadline are now considered dead for this year, but could be brought back for consideration next year.

For reference, there were 877 Senate Bills and Senate Joint Resolutions introduced this year, with 412 of those reporting out of committee and 347 later reporting out of the Senate.

Over 100 bills were heard before the deadline on the Senate floor.

The bills heard by the deadline will now be sent to the opposite chamber for further legislative review.  By law, the Legislature must adjourn Sine Die, no later than Friday, May 26.  All of our work, including an agreement on the budget, will need to be completed by then.

Also last week, we assembled in a joint session in the House chamber to honor the state’s veterans.  Oklahoma has approximately 336,000 veterans who have sacrificed tremendously for our nation, our state and our citizens.   It was very moving to see the Chamber filled with so many who have given so much in the name of our country.

We approved several bills last week that will benefit veterans, including one that will offer increased protection of service members’ contractual and financial rights by allowing them to cancel certain contracts when they are deployed are mobilized.

Another bill stipulates hourly employees would not be excluded from the first 240 hours of their pay when called to active service, while another would authorize the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a State Veterans’ Cemetery System consisting of one or more cemeteries to serve Oklahoma veterans and their eligible spouses and dependents.

The agency would establish a fee for the interment of eligible spouses and dependents and would seek private, state and federal funding for the establishment, construction, operation and maintenance of the cemetery system.

We were honored to have Tulsan and Oklahoma State student Alexis Gullic here at the Capitol this week presenting her research in conjunction with the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCOR) on opioids and estradiol.

Our office also recognized All-Oklahoma Team award winner, Michael Land this week as well.

I always welcome your questions and concerns.   Please feel free to contact me at the state Capitol by calling 405-521-5620 or by email at rader@oksenate.gov.