Opportunities this session to bend Oklahoma’s justice system toward justice (Capitol Update)

Prison Visit A defining issue for this legislature and Governor Stitt's leadership in his first session could be a remarkable advancement in criminal justice reform. [More...]

Push for agency accountability produces a mixed bag (Capitol Update)

Last week the Legislature turned its accountability focus toward state government, with leadership announcing agreement between the House, Senate and the Governor on five bills to reorganize the governance of five larger state agencies...It will be interesting to see how things work when the power brokers that have been given new powers strongly disagree with each other.  It could be a prescription for "gridlock," which would be the opposite of "turnaround."  [More...]

House and Senate leadership bills show similar priorities, different approach (Capitol Update)

With the passage of the first committee deadline, it's interesting to observe the bills the two top legislative leaders have filed.  If they decide to throw the full weight of their office behind a proposal, it is likely to become law, at least in some form. [More...]

Teacher pay, criminal justice reform, and cultural issues get attention with committee deadline looming (Capitol Update)

The firehose effect of early session continued last week with members scrambling to get their bills heard in committee before this Thursday's deadline. By this Friday, the number of active bills will be reduced considerably. One of the big items that got the spotlight was a $1,200 teacher pay raise passed in the House and sent to the Senate. [More...]

New legislators taking on overlooked problems (Capitol Update)

This year's crop of bills reflects the priorities of an unusually large group of new and almost new legislators. The priorities include a willingness to work on social issues that in the past may have been overlooked. [More...]

State airplane is low hanging fruit for new governor (Capitol Update)

What is it about airplanes and state government? Governor Stitt announced, as one of his first official executive orders last week that he would order the sale of the state airplane. The governor, a pilot and successful businessman doing business… Read more “State airplane is low hanging fruit for new governor (Capitol Update)” [More...]

Push to end agencies boards could inject more politics and ideology into state agency operations (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. It looks like we may be in for a wholesale change in the way state government works… Read more “Push to end agencies boards could inject more politics and ideology into state agency operations (Capitol Update)” [More...]

Finding the courage to say “no more prisons” (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. “We’re not going to build any more prisons.” I remember House Speaker Dan Draper making that declarative… Read more “Finding the courage to say “no more prisons” (Capitol Update)” [More...]

Legislative leadership for next session is coming into focus (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. With the appointment of House leadership by Speaker Charles McCall last week, the picture of legislative leadership… Read more “Legislative leadership for next session is coming into focus (Capitol Update)” [More...]

The first deadline for next year’s Legislature has already passed (Capitol Update)

Steve Lewis served as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1989-1991. He currently practices law in Tulsa and represents clients at the Capitol. Although the legislative session does not begin until February 4th, the first deadline of the session, the… Read more “The first deadline for next year’s Legislature has already passed (Capitol Update)” [More...]