Friday, May 27, 2022

Regular legislative session ends, but hang on for the two special sessions

The final couple of days of the Oklahoma Legislature's 2022 regular session ended with a flurry of activity, vetoes, veto overrides, and sharp words between the executive and legislative branches.

While the regular session has adjourned, there are two special (or extraordinary) sessions that will take place throughout June, possibly longer. The first was called by the Legislature to deal with distributing federal stimulus funds, while the second was called by Gov. Stitt to deal with inflation relief via eliminating the grocery sales tax and cutting the personal income tax.

Here's the official press release on the conclusion of the regular session, from the office of Speaker Charles McCall. I'll probably have more to follow this post:

House adjourns Sine Die after historic pro-growth investments in Oklahoma's future

OKLAHOMA CITY – The House of Representatives adjourned Sine Die on Friday following a successful session in which Republicans enacted historic, pro-growth investments for the future of Oklahoma.

"This year's investments in Oklahoma's future expand our economy and protect our budget like never before,” said House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka. "Over the past two years, the largest House Republican majority ever secured a future of tremendous prosperity, innovation and freedom in Oklahoma. Republicans proudly met the expectations Oklahomans gave us."

The Legislature sent 434 measures to the governor this session, including bills to stop illegal marijuana grows, deliver broadband statewide, protect life, uphold traditional values and enhance public safety.

The Legislature also enacted a balanced budget featuring historic state savings account deposits, law enforcement pay raises, and, for the first time, elimination of the waiting list for services for Oklahomans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"With a foundation laid by generational investments and the most comprehensive conservative policy agenda ever, Oklahoma's best is yet to come," McCall said. "Thanks to all members of the House and Senate for partnering in these shared, historic accomplishments.”

Generational investments (2022)

  • Made major economic and infrastructure development improvements through:
    • Nearly $1 billion for Project Ocean (HB 4455), a major technology and manufacturing job opportunity, and retrofitting rural Oklahoma areas like industrial parks (HBs 4456 & 4464), to recruit future economic megaprojects;
    • $95 million to critical rural water projects (SB 429)
    • Maintaining all state transportation infrastructure funding (SB 1040)
    • Setting the stage for hundreds of millions of dollars in broadband infrastructure funding (HB 3363, HB 3349, SB 1495); and
    • Increased rural hospital funding, including reopening some hospitals that closed in recent years (HBs 4456, 4464)
    • Increased state savings to $2.6 billion, the most in state history, through a balanced budget that does not spend all available money.
  • Continued historic education budgets in public schools, with K-12 schools receiving a 35% increase in funding in the past six years to $3.2 billion, the highest amount in state history (HB 4465, SB 1040), and a 7% increase to higher education, the largest single-year increase to colleges and universities in recent history (SB 1040).
  • Funded and addressed nursing and teaching shortages, including:
    • $55 million for nursing programs at higher education institutions statewide (SB 1458);
    • Reforming the healthcare workforce state agency to improve effectiveness (HB 2776);
    • $17.4 million for scholarships and employment incentives for aspiring teachers to improve recruitment and retention (HB 3564);
    • Performance-based teacher raises ranging between $3,000 and $10,000 for specially-certified teachers, and one-time awards between $1,500 and $5,000 for teachers in economically disadvantaged or smaller schools (HB 4388);
    • Creating a STEM Workforce Pipeline Program (HB 4362); and
    • Improving and expediting the teacher certification process (HB 3658).
  • Made health and human services improvements with funds and policies that:
    • End the waiting list for services for the developmentally disabled with $32.5 million in the FY 23 budget (HB 4466), granting more than 5,000 developmentally disabled Oklahomans critical state services they have waited years to receive.
    • Control and cap Medicaid spending through capitated managed care that provides budget certainty and produces hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, especially in rural Oklahoma (SBs 1337, 1396, 1074)
    • Improve mental health services with increased provider rates and expanded rural access (SB 1048)

Comprehensive conservative policy (2022) 

  • Stopped illegal marijuana grows by funding sheriffs to assist with marijuana enforcement (HB 3530), improving packaging requirements (HB 3019), adjusting licensing fees (HB 2179 awaiting signature), and making the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority a standalone agency (SB 1543) and more.
  • Expanded broadband by equipping the Oklahoma Broadband Office (HB 3363) to bring high-speed internet access to 95% of Oklahomans by 2027.
  • Preserved Oklahoma values by supporting life (SB 612, HB 1102, HB 2441, SB 918, HB 4327, SB 1503), protecting women's sports (SB 2) and ensuring children are safe in school bathrooms (SB 615).
  • Supported law enforcement with 30% officer pay raises and increased funds for training, fighting crimes against children and officer mental health support (HB 4470, HB 4471, SB 1055, SB 1056, HB 2958), while stopping all Democrat "defund the police" bills from advancing (HB 4156, HB 4157, HB 4161).
  • Maintained election integrity by enhancing voter identification requirements for absentee votes (HBs 3364 & 3365), prohibiting private funds for elections (HB 3046) and investigating suspicious registrations (HB 2974).

Flashback: 2021 Accomplishments


  • Implemented open transfer policy to expand parental choice (HB 2074, SB 783)
  • Reduced class sizes in kindergarten and first grade through increased appropriations
  • Maximized funding formula by making money follow student (HB 2078)
  • Created charter and traditional school funding equity with Redbud School Funding Act (SB 229)
  • Increased private support for public schools and scholarships for private schools (SB 1080)
  • Required passage of U.S. Civics Test to graduate high school (HB 2030)
  • Banned teaching critical race theory in public school classrooms (HB 1775)

Tax relief

  • Reduced personal income tax by .25% for all taxpayers (HB 2962)
  • Reduced corporate income tax from 6% to 4% (HB 2960, HB 2961, HB 2963)


  • Set state record for common education appropriations (HB 2900)
  • Replenished savings to record $1.3 billion

States’ Rights

  • Established constitutional process to challenge federal overreach (HB 1236)
  • Expanded pro-life policies (HBs 2441, 1102, SBs 918, 778, 779)
  • Protected churches from infringement of constitutional worship rights (HB 2648, SB 368)
  • Supported more Second Amendment protections (HB 1630, SB 631)

Government & Elections

  • Modernized civil service system to improve state government workforce (HB 1146)
  • Addressed issues surrounding driver’s license backlogs (HB 1059, SB 1057)
  • Completed fair, transparent, constitutional legislative redistricting plan (HB 1198, SB 1066)
  • Add extra day of in-person early voting (HB 2663)
  • Improved state questions by disclosing fiscal impacts, allowing recounts (SB 947, HB 2564)


  • Set framework, incentives for broadband expansion (HBs 1124, 2928, 2040, 2946, SB 802)
  • Sent $35 million to economic development funds for new jobs (HB 2900, SB 1082)
  • Protected utility customers from large winter storm bills via securitization (SB 1049, SB 1050)
  • Dedicated $15.5 million to Rural Economic Action Plan (HB 2900)
  • Enhanced film industry recruitment efforts (SB 608)

Public Safety

  • Protected public from rioters, government disruptions (HB 1674, SB 403)
  • Required local jails to comply with immigration enforcement (HB 2774)

The 58th Oklahoma Legislature will convene in special sessions later this year to complete American Rescue Plan Act disbursements, act on economic development and secure inflation relief for Oklahomans.

The 59th Oklahoma Legislature will be seated after elections in November. The 2023 session begins on Feb. 6, 2023.


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