Oklahoma Bar Journal

Legislative Monitoring Committee | OBA Day at the Capitol and Legislative Session Updates

By Shanda McKenney

spiritofamerica | #316909771 | stock.adobe.com

By the time you read this article, we will have completed another successful event on behalf of the OBA membership. OBA Day at the Capitol was held March 26. Those who registered and attended (this was an in-person event only!) enjoyed scheduled remarks by speakers such as Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond and Trevor Pemberton, who serves as general counsel for Gov. Stitt, among other distinguished guests. The programming was designed for the express purpose of educating the membership on current topics of discussion at the Capitol. Topics included the agendas of the various branches of our state government as well as how OBA members can be available to act as resources for the legislators on various substantive issues or to examine the practical effects of legislation under consideration from those on the front lines. Following a networking lunch, those who were able walked over to the Capitol to introduce themselves as constituents to their legislators and take in the process of floor work.

The number of bills that remain at issue this session has dwindled dramatically over the last two weeks. The committee deadlines for houses of origin passed, and the deadline for making it off the floor in the house of origin was March 14. There are a series of deadlines in the weeks of April 8 and 15, at which point all bills must be voted out of the opposite chamber’s committee in order to remain alive. The final deadline for this session is the third reading of bills from the opposite chamber, which is April 25. Pursuant to the Oklahoma Constitution, the Legislature must adjourn sine die from the regular session no later than 5 p.m. on May 31. Should the governor deem there to be important unfinished business following the end of the regular session, he may elect to call a special session to address any other outstanding issues.

As usual, it is anticipated that a fair percentage of April will be spent hammering out the state’s budget. The bills that were initially placed on our committee’s “watch list” have been whittled down, and that summary will be posted to the Legislative Monitoring Committee’s Communities page shortly. There are approximately 600 bills that are still alive and part of the legislative process this session. As a reminder, any bill that does not survive will be permanently “dead” and will not carry over to next year. However, that does not prevent the legislation from being reintroduced in 2025 if a sponsor is willing to pursue it further. If you would like to join the Legislative Monitoring Committee and have access to our Communities page, please fill out the online form at https://bit.ly/3SjMzcE.

Author’s Note: Any views or opinions expressed herein are those of the author individually and are not intended to reflect those of Christina D. Stone & Associates or any State Farm Insurance company.


Shanda McKenney is a co-chair of the Legislative Monitoring Committee. She is a practicing attorney with Christina D. Stone & Associates, employees of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar JournalOBJ 95 No. 4 (April 2024)

Statements or opinions expressed in the Oklahoma Bar Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff.