Sunday, January 24, 2021

Legislature completes bill filing for 2021 session with over 3,000 bills and resolutions

It appears that the Oklahoma Legislature has set a new record for amount of legislation filed in advance of a legislative session, with 3,049 bills and resolutions submitted.

House Completes Bill Filing Process for 2021 Session

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives completed bill filing Thursday, Jan. 21 for the first session of the 58th Legislature. A total of 1,942 House Bills, 44 House Joint Resolutions and 2 House Resolutions were filed.

The full text of the bills, along with additional information including authors and co-authors, can be found online at www.okhouse.gov.

Last year, the Clerk of the House reported 1,361 House Bills, 16 House Joint Resolutions and 4 House Concurrent Resolutions were filed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 session was temporarily paused and a vast majority of bills did not complete the legislative process.

For the 2019 session, 1,733 House bills and 21 House Joint Resolutions were filed. For the 2018 session, 1,193 House bills and 32 House Joint Resolutions were filed.

The House is comprised of 82 Republicans and 19 Democrats. The first session of the 58th Legislature will begin Monday, Feb. 1 at noon with the State of the State address from Gov. Kevin Stitt in the House Chamber.

Senate completes bill filing for 2021 session

The Senate has completed filing bills for the first session of the 58th Legislature.  The deadline was Thursday, Jan. 21.  A total of 1,035 Senate Bills and 26 Senate Joint Resolutions were filed.  In 2019, the first session of the 57th Legislature, a total of 1,040 Senate Bills and 21 Senate Joint Resolutions were filed.

The Thursday deadline did not apply to appropriations bills, which can be filed throughout the session.  In addition, Senate rules allow substantive bills to be introduced during the session after the filing deadline.  For this to occur, the bill is assigned to a committee by the Majority Floor Leader and the entire committee becomes the published author of the bill upon committee approval.  Such bills must be heard on the floor by March 11, the deadline for floor votes on legislation originating in the Senate. 

Measures filed in the Senate but not heard by deadlines for committee or floor action can still be considered in the 2022 session.  Senate rules also allow for bills by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to be filed throughout the session, including legislation dealing with redistricting. Senate Resolutions and Senate Concurrent Resolutions can be filed throughout the session as well.

Members of the public can read and download current legislation by going to the official Senate website at www.oksenate.gov and following the link for legislation at the top of the homepage.  The Senate website also includes daily agendas, meeting notices, calendars, and other helpful information.

The 2021 legislative session will convene on Monday, February 1.  The Senate offers streaming audio and video with closed captioning from the Senate Chamber, as well as from all committee rooms.  Wireless Internet access is available to all Capitol visitors throughout the Senate Gallery, rotunda, committee rooms, offices and press rooms.

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