This Week at the Capitol: Hundreds of Bills Moving Forward in Opposite Chamber

KOKH - March 28, 2022 2:04 pm

Hundreds of bills made it through the Oklahoma legislature’s floor deadline last week, and are now moving on to be voted on in the opposite chamber.

House bills will be voted on in the Senate, and vice versa.

We can expect a whole slew of committee meetings and floor debates as the legislature moves a bit closer to settling the budget and stacking up bills on the Governor’s desk.

Lawmakers are forging ahead after Thursday’s deadline.

A little over 300 Senate bills and joint resolutions will be heard in the House.

Around 380 bills are headed from the House to the Senate.

Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, (R)-OKC, said 180 or so have already been assigned to Senate Committees.

“So we’re going to get just like we started session with Senate bills quickly in committee. We have a shorter deadline for house bills or bills from the opposite chamber. So we have our work cut out for us, but it’s a very manageable workload,” Senator Treat said.

In the weeks ahead of us, many lawmakers said they’re focusing on a topic that’s taken center stage this session: education.

“I believe that we have just got to figure out how we value our educators, our future educators, and be on a level playing field with these other professions,” Sen. Blake Stephens, (R)-Tahlequah said. “Once we address that and we can pump money in that direction to reflect the value we have in our educators and compete with these other professions, I think we answer that call.”

A highly debated education bill that’s supported by Gov. Stitt was struck down on the Senate Floor last week.

But Senator Treat, the sponsor of the voucher bill, said Oklahomans haven’t seen the last of parent choice legislation.

“We’re going to continue to fight,” Sen. Treat said. “Nothing’s over ever in this building.”

Not only are lawmakers looking at new bills, but also carry over bills from last session.

“I’m excited about what the future holds here in Oklahoma, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of this session,” Sen. Stephens said. “It goes by like a blur.”

The deadline for bills and joint resolutions to be heard in a committee of the opposite chamber is April 14th. The bills that pass through both chambers will head t the Governor’s desk.

 

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