In a year where almost 2,500 bills were introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature, one bill, Senate Bill 310, aims to shrink the Oklahoma statute books. On Wednesday, the Senate Rules Committee passed SB 310 by a 15-4 vote, taking the first step toward creating a “Spring Cleaning Commission” for the state of Oklahoma.
The Spring Cleaning Commission, as currently designed, would be composed of eight former legislators appointed by the Senate President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House. Under SB 310, the commission’s job would be to recommend to the Legislature changes to Oklahoma’s statutes using the following criteria:
Identify outdated, redundant, unnecessary or obsolete state laws
Identify titles of law that are poorly organized due to repeated amendment or other reason
Identify sections of law that are written in archaic language
Identify programs that have outlived their usefulness or are redundant
Identify regulations that impact the ability to do business in this state, but whose original purpose is no longer justifiable
Identify bureaucratic procedures or structures in state law that could be streamlined
The author, Senator David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, praised the Rules Committee for its action.
“Many of my Republican colleagues have introduced repealers this year to get rid of outdated laws, but we still have so much work to do,” said Senator Holt. “I think we should prioritize the task by creating the Spring Cleaning Commission. Although I recognize the irony of creating a new commission to accomplish this, I think this commission has the potential to dramatically shrink the Oklahoma statute books, which would be to the benefit of our free society.”