The 2016 session of the Oklahoma Legislature began Feb. 1 and the deadline for filing bills in the Senate was January 21. Senators filed 704 bills and 42 Senate Joint Resolutions. A total of 636 Senate Bills and 31 Senate Joint Resolutions carried over from the 2015 session.
Rules approved last year ended the practice of filing shell bills—legislation without final language that could be used as a vehicle for new law or modifying existing law after the session was underway. The new rules allow for substantive legislation to be introduced after the filing deadline. The floor leader must assign the bill to committee, but at that point, the entire committee becomes the published author of the bill.
Also, restoration work on the State Capitol has begun and Senate staff offices on the third floor are ready to be occupied.
“Our staff is always extremely dedicated and professional, even with the intense workload that comes with the approach of the bill filing deadline,” said Senate President Pro Temporte Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “Despite the massive move that has been underway in the last few days, that dedication and professionalism continued to be the standard as staff diligently worked with our members to complete the bill filing process. As always, we are extremely grateful and appreciative of their efforts.”
Members of the public can read and download legislation by going to the official State Senate website at www.oksenate.gov.