Lost for decades, two of the original lighting sconces that once adorned the Senate Gallery have been restored and were installed Thursday just outside the entrance to the Chamber.
Trait Thompson, Project Manager for the restoration of the state Capitol, said it was exciting that nearly a hundred years after they had first been installed in the building, two of the sconces now light the Senate foyer.
The deadline for members of the Oklahoma State Senate to file legislation for the first session of the 55th Legislature was 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 22. A total of 815 Senate bills were filed, along with 32 joint resolutions. The total number is down compared to the first session of the 54th Legislature in 2013 when 1,119 bills and 34 joint resolutions were filed.
State Sen. Stephanie Bice has filed legislation that would allow retail liquor stores to sell refrigerated high-point beer in Oklahoma. Bice said this change is something Oklahomans have increasingly been asking for.
“I’ve heard from scores of Oklahomans from all parts of the state who are really supportive of this effort to modernize state law to enable the sale of cold high-point beer in liquor stores,” said Bice, R-Oklahoma City. “The response I’ve received has been overwhelmingly in favor of this legislation.”
Sen. David Holt, R Oklahoma City, has introduced a comprehensive election reform package of nine bills and one joint resolution, all intended to increase Oklahoma’s rapidly declining voter turnout. The concepts proposed by Holt include
transitioning Oklahoma to mail elections and adoption of a “top two” electoral system.
As a physician, Dr. Ervin Yen has seen first-hand the deadly consequences of texting while driving. As a new member of the Legislature, Sen. Yen has filed legislation to try and stop it. Yen, R-Oklahoma City, has authored Senate Bill 304 which would make it a misdemeanor crime with a fine of at least $100 to text while driving a vehicle.
A cardiac anesthesiologist, Yen said what he’s seen in the operating room has convinced him that Oklahoma legislators need to act, just as 44 other states have already done.
Sen. Brian Bingman released the following statement after being formally re-elected to serve a third term as President Pro Tempore during the state Senate’s organizational day on Tuesday.