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Press Releases

Showing: February, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Select Committee on Redistricting and the House State and Federal Redistricting Committee met Thursday at the Oklahoma Capitol and adopted redistricting rules and guidelines as well as the parameters for public map submissions.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved legislation Wednesday addressing a gap in eligibility for nonviolent offenders to participate in the Electronic Monitoring Program. Senate Bill 456 eliminates the current eligibility classifications allowing all sentence lengths to be eligible for the program once a nonviolent offender is within three years of discharge.

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State Senator George Young, D-Oklahoma City, issued the following statement in response to the Senate Rules Committee voting down Senate Bill 209, which would require a racial impact statement for any piece of criminal justice legislation that creates a new offense, significantly changes an existing offense, changes the penalty for an existing offense, or changes existing sentencing, parole or probation procedures.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill to clarify and strengthen penalties for those who commit crimes during violent riots is now on its way to the full Senate.  Senate Bill 806, creating the Oklahoma Citizens’ Protection Act, by Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, was approved on Wednesday by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Rules Committee has approved Senate Bill 253, authored by Sen. Dave Rader, R-Tulsa, which would modify declaration of candidacy forms for citizens seeking to hold public office.

The measure would require candidates to provide the date they registered as a voter of the political party they are running for as well as his or her voter registration identification number.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Carri Hicks has cleared the first legislative hurdle to keep individuals from being unnecessarily punished for not appearing in court when they are incarcerated or detained by law enforcement. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 44 Tuesday to dismiss any charges or warrants for such individuals—a move the Oklahoma City Democrat says will help stop the unfair practice.

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The Senate Public Safety Committee approved Senate Bill 631, also known as the Second Amendment Sanctuary Act, in a 9-2 vote on Monday. The measure, authored by Sen. Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, would make Oklahoma a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

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OKLAHOMA CITY –The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a measure to prohibit law enforcement agencies from releasing audio or video showing an officer dying in the line of duty unless a court rules the material should be released in specific cases.  Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow, is principal author of Senate Bill 968.  Haste said his legislation has the support of law enforcement as well as the Oklahoma Press Association.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure allowing social media users to sue for damages against any social media website that censors a user’s political or religious speech was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. State Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, authored Senate Bill 383 to eliminate selective censorship of opinion on social media and to ensure free speech is treated fairly.  

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Senator Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, released the following statement after Monday’s vote by the Oklahoma Senate to confirm Trent Smith to the Oklahoma State Board of Education.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Retirement and Insurance Committee unanimously approved legislation Thursday modifying the annual benefit allowance for state employees. Senate Bill 650 is authored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Kim David, R-Porter, to modernize the annual state employee flexible benefit allowance to better address ever-increasing healthcare costs.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Judiciary Committee has given unanimous approval to a bill to help law enforcement locate kidnap victims faster.  Sen. Darrell Weaver is the author of Senate Bill 272, the “Kelsey Smith Act,” which would require cell phone companies to provide phone location information to law enforcement in emergency situations, such as an abduction. 

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure authorizing sheriffs and peace officers to utilize telemedicine in assessing individuals when there is reasonable belief that mental health services are needed passed unanimously out of the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.  Sen.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Hundreds of Oklahoma teaching positions are empty, and a 2017 statute allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom with no limitations on earnings expired June 30, 2020. The Senate Retirement and Insurance Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 267 Thursday to extend the earnings exemption through 2024.  Senate Education Committee Vice Chairman, Sen.

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The Senate unanimously adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 on Thursday to encourage and invite exhibitors, breed associations and partners to return to Oklahoma in 2022 and again participate in the second annual Cattlemen’s Congress show. The resolution was authored by Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt.   

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, issued the following statement after the Oklahoma State Board of Equalization (BOE) met on Tuesday to certify revenues available for appropriation for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. The amount initially certified by the board in December was $8.46 billion.  The amount certified Tuesday was $9.64 billion. 

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, released the following statement Friday after the Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA) and other health organizations asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to issue an injunction against Medicaid managed care contracts. 

“The Oklahoma State Medical Association contends the Oklahoma Health Care Authority went outside its authority and circumvented the legislature in implementing $2 billion in managed care contracts.  I completely agree and fully support the OSMA’s efforts.

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The full Senate has given its approval to a measure codifying the authority for cities and towns to adopt ordinances enabling the painting of blue lines and the posting of signage in support of law enforcement.  Senate Bill 834, by Sen. Darrell Weaver, R-Moore, was approved on Wednesday.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Michael Brooks, D-OKC, has authored legislation to help better protect Oklahoma’s youth by strengthening the punishment for adults convicted of knowingly selling or providing alcohol to minors. Senate Bill 283 would require such individuals to attend a victims impact panel program in addition to current penalties—a requirement already in place for those convicted of DUIs.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act Tuesday prohibiting governmental declaration of religious institutions as nonessential. Sen. David Bullard is the principal Senate author of Senate Bill 368.

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