End of Session Round-Up: A quiet year in taxes

Thanks to last year's revenue increases and a strong economy, fueled especially by booming oil and gas revenues, lawmakers entered the 2019 session looking at a large budget surplus  It was clear from the start that tax policy would be far less prominent and contentious than in past years. [More...]

End of Session Round-Up: Missed opportunities to improve financial security

We told you in February that the Legislature would have several opportunities to improve the lives of hard-working Oklahomans and their families. Unfortunately, only a few of these measures passed. [More...]

End of Session Health Care Round-Up: We’ve seen worse, but still no expansion

Perhaps the best thing that can be said about this year's legislative session from a health care perspective is that, refreshingly, this was the first in recent years that didn't include a full-scale attack on access to SoonerCare. [More...]

End of Session Education Round-Up: Steady steps forward

Image Credit: US Department of Education / Flickr While the 2019 legislative session was not as attention-grabbing as last year, public education still claimed a number of victories this session. [More...]

End of Session Round-Up: Criminal justice reform was not enough of a legislative priority in 2019

Oklahoma’s fines and fees system worsening the economic crisis for families and courts See all of our end of session round-ups: Taxes | Budget | Economic Opportunity | Health Care | Education | Criminal Justice Oklahoma incarcerates its citizens at a higher rate than any other place on Earth. If Oklahoma does not… Read more [More...]

Budget Overview: The rebuilding project continues

Overall, it's best to think of this budget as a second step on what needs to be a long journey. When adjusted for inflation, this budget is still 10.1 percent  below the FY 2009 level. Over half of state agencies still have lower budgets than they did in FY 2009 without accounting for inflation. [More...]

Bill Watch: We have a budget

On Wednesday, Republican leaders announced they had reached agreement on an $8.3 billion state budget. That budget was approved in House and Senate committees yesterday and should go to final vote in both chambers today and early next week. [More...]

Bill Watch: End of legislative session is in sight

Yesterday Governor Stitt announced that he expects to have a budget deal by early next week — an event which typically signals that the legislative session is coming to an end. Lawmakers must adjourn by May 31st, but they can adjourn sooner. We expect the 24th, two weeks from today, to be a likely last day for this year's Legislature. [More...]

Bill Watch: JCAB is now the room where it happens

Last week marked another major deadline for this year's Legislature. Bills had until last Thursday to pass the full chamber opposite from where they originated. [More...]

Bill Watch: Best laid plans often go awry

On the eve of the last regular committee deadline for many bills, some legislation appears to have been derailed by feuding between the House and Senate. These bills might still be saved by some creative reinterpretation of legislative rules, but it's a reminder that we can't take a smooth process for granted, even in a Legislature dominated by one party. [More...]