Recent Articles

Dispute over settlement proposal for mental health lawsuit points out incongruities (Capitol Update)

In Oklahoma (as in the rest of the country) criminal defendants are considered incompetent to stand trial if they are found by a court to be unable to appreciate the nature of the charges against them and/or are unable to consult with their lawyer and rationally assist in the preparation of their defense. [More...]

Looking at budget items after legislative dust has settled (Capitol Update)

The 15-day deadline for bill signing expired last week and Gov. Kevin Stitt largely honored the deal he made with legislative leaders to not veto the state budget if they did four things. [More...]

Court ruling on cabinet secretaries provides lesson in unintended consequences (Capitol Update)

The ruling of Oklahoma County District Judge Richard Ogden in a case filed by Gov. Kevin Stitt against Attorney General Gentner Drummond provides an interesting lesson in unintended consequences. [More...]

Criminal justice reform in Oklahoma seems to come in small doses (Capitol Update)

Senate Bill 325, which passed this session, improves the timeline for case completion by amending the Oklahoma Speedy Trial Act. Prior to passage of SB 325, the Act required a felony case to be tried within one year if the defendant is confined in jail. [More...]

Efforts to reclassify state’s criminal code maybe getting traction (Capitol Update)

Providing more realistic guidelines for sentencing, which is lacking in Oklahoma, should provide a meaningful, measurable effect on Oklahoma's overuse of incarceration. HB 1792, if it passes, could mark a starting point. [More...]

Public budget discussions are an opportunity to gain a better appreciation of the state budget process (Capitol Update)

For those with interest and time to watch, the negotiations are an opportunity to gain a better appreciation of the state budget process and those who write the budget. If nothing else, the people watching have been treated, for the most part, to civil discussions by knowledgeable legislators doing the work they were elected to do to the best of their ability. [More...]

State’s anti-ESG law filled with twists, turns (Capitol Update)

Oklahoma politics is sometimes a small world. In 2022, given the opportunity to demonstrate their loyalty to the state's oil and gas industry, legislators passed House Bill 2034, the "Energy Discrimination Elimination Act of 2022, known as Oklahoma's anti-ESG (environmental, social and governance) law." [More...]

SB 1709 could impact reporting for child welfare system, long-term care facilities (Capitol Update)

Senate Bill 1709 by Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, has flown somewhat under the radar, but it could have a large impact on the health and safety of children in the child welfare system and persons in long-term care facilities. [More...]

Bill seeking to change State Dept. of Ed. board likely no longer a threat to status quo (Capitol Update)

It looked for a while as though the state school board and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction were going to get their wings clipped a bit. But after recent changes to a bill intended to change the state Board of Education membership. HB 2562 is not a threat to the status quo at the State Department of Education. [More...]

Competing budget transparency efforts may have made process more confusing than ever (Capitol Update)

The House last week revealed its position on the Fiscal Year 2025 budget that begins on July 1 and upstaged the Senate’s transparency gambit with a new “transparency portal” that can be accessed on the House of Representatives website. Even with the talk of — and effort toward — transparency, the budget process this year seems more confusing than ever.  [More...]