Oklahoma Bar Journal

2023 Regular Session Comes to a Close

By Shanda McKenney

The first regular session of the 59th Legislature has ended, and it is largely more notable for what did not get done than for what was accomplished. As anyone who watched local news is aware, there was something of a rift between the legislative and executive branches this session, which tended to derail the planned activities of the House and Senate during the regular session. The weeks-long debate regarding the budget and the governor’s school voucher plan occupied many days and hours that were originally calendared for committee and floor work.

Due to the numerous vetoes issued by Gov. Stitt (believed to be a record number) and the time involved in the struggle to work out compromises on the budget, a special session was necessary to override a number of vetoes and to finish addressing some outstanding legislation that did not get thorough consideration during the regular session.

Ultimately, agreements were reached regarding a state budget as well as a school voucher system. Although the budget was not officially signed by the governor, it was enacted as a matter of law based on his inaction. The workers’ compensation system survives, as does OETA and Medicaid. However, the Senate recently failed to override the governor’s veto of the proposed tribal compact, ensuring that the state and tribal government relationship will be a hot topic during the next session.

A quick and easy reference to all legislation that passed during the 2023 regular session can be found at https://bit.ly/3pBNT1V. There, you can also find legislation that was considered and passed during special sessions (designated with an “x” following the year), as well as a list of items that were vetoed. If you would like to become a more active participant in Oklahoma government, please visit the official legislative website at www.oklegislature.gov, where you can track bills of particular interest to you, read press releases and tune in to live video feeds of what’s happening on the floor of each chamber. It’s truly an excellent resource for all Oklahomans.

For a rundown of the bills that passed in 2023, please plan to join us for the annual OBA Legislative Debrief that will be held Aug. 25 at 1:30 p.m. at the Oklahoma Bar Center. Several speakers will make brief presentations on various topical areas, and a legislative panel will provide input on this session and potential areas of interest for 2024. We hope to have an excellent turnout with free CLE and afternoon snacks, so we will see you there!

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect those of State Farm or any of its related entities.


Shanda McKenney practices in Oklahoma City and co-chairs the OBA Legislative Monitoring Committee.




Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 95 Vol 6 (August 2023)

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.