New Legislative Session And New Election Bills Are Upon Us

A new Legislative session is upon us. With this new session, two things are going to happen. The first major thing is that all bills that did not lose a vote in the 2013 Session are revived for this session. These bills will most likely pick up where they left off.

This means that both SB668 and HB2134 still have a chance to be heard in the House, and HB2134 could still be heard in the Senate. If the House chooses to hear and vote on SB668 and not HB2134, then SB668 will go to the governor’s desk, barring any amendments. If the House instead decides to hear HB2134 rather than SB668, then the Senate, based on recent history, would have to hold a vote on that legislation and would most like amend it to more closely resemble SB668.  This would require a conference to settle to difference. That would not be good as the last two conferences which should have reviewed passed Ballot Access Reform refused to address it.

Another bill that is still alive and very dangerous is SB76. This bill would double the fees paid by those seeking to run for office. While this bill, if passed would not change the rules for the 2014 election, it will make running for office in 2016 far more expensive. The House may still take this legislation up and if it votes to approve it, it will harm Oklahoma’s already poor election climate.

The second major thing that is happening this year is that a whole host of new bills will be introduced. Many have already come and are available to view on the Legislature’s website. We will be writing up many stories to highlight some of the worst and some of the best bills that are filed this year.

Regardless of what bills are introduced or carried over, the House and Senate both have deadlines to stick to. The major deadlines are as follows.

  • Introduction of bills: January 16
  • Bills to be heard in house of origin: March 13
  • Bills to be heard in opposite house: April 24

We will also be watching various House and Senate Committees as they review bills we are tracking.  We already have a list of all the bills that are carried over from the 2013 Session and we will be adding some bills introduced this session. We will be updating that page with notes of each bill’s path through the Legislature. We will also be reporting on those updates as well. So keep and eye out and your ears open.

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