Despite ice and sleet storms the previous weekend that made it difficult for members and staff to travel to the State Capitol, the Oklahoma State Senate met its January 18 deadline for filing legislation to be considered for the 2007 session. By 11:30 p.m. on Thursday, 1,091 bills and 30 joint resolutions had been filed. In 2006, which was the second session of the 50th Legislature, the Senate considered 1,034 new bills and 608 carryover bills, along with 32 joint resolutions.
Senate rules do allow for specific exceptions regarding the deadline. Under legislation approved last year, retirement bills impacting the Teachers’ Retirement System of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System and the Uniform Retirement System for Justices and Judges must first be studied by a legislative actuary, and may be filed any time until the first day of session. Forty such measures have been sent for study and will be filed in the coming days. In addition, simple and concurrent resolutions may be filed at any time during the session.
The 2007 legislative session will officially get underway on Monday, February 5. The Senate offers streaming audio and video from the Senate Chamber, as well as from committee rooms 419-C and 511-A. Wireless Internet access is available to all Capitol visitors throughout the Senate gallery, rotunda, committee rooms, offices and press rooms.