Striking Title

Striking title is a common procedural maneuver in the Oklahoma Legislature. It is used especially on bills that impact the state budget or bills that are considered to be works-in-progress.

The Oklahoma Constitution requires that every bill contain a concise statement  at the beginning of the bill accurately expressing the bill’s subject. If a legislator offers an amendment to “strike the title,” the amendment deletes this introductory definition and causes the bill or joint resolution to be out of compliance with the Constitution. This means the measure must be returned to that chamber and be amended again, including having its title restored, before it can become law. Essentially, sriking the title allows the bill to move forward in the legislative process while recognizing that it needs further changes before it gets final approval. This can allow some lawmakers to cast a provisional vote in favor of a bill that they have concerns about. 

Titles are most often stricken in committee by unanimous consent based on a request by the bill’s author or the committee chair. Title can also be struck during floor debate on a bill. Bills can be amended to restore title at any stage during the process. Bills that pass one or both chambers with their titles stricken are typically sent to a conference committee to be resolved.