The Legislative Monitoring Committee focuses on the following measures:
- Administration of justice
- Court organization, selection, tenure, salary and other incidents of the judicial office
- Rules and laws affecting practice and procedure in the courts and in administrative bodies exercising adjudicatory functions
- The practice of law
OBA Bylaws Art. VIII Sec 3
Legislative Proposals and Endorsements in Principle:
- The House of Delegates has the authority to place a measure on the Legislative Program or to endorse it in principle, with at least a 60% vote.
OBA Bylaws Art. VIII Sec 5
Action by the Association upon proposals for improvement of the law by legislation or by judicial rule shall consist of:
- Adoption as part of the Legislative Program of the Association;
- Endorsement in principle.
OBA Bylaws Art. VIII Sec 2
Legislative Report - 57th Legislature
The Second Regular Session of the 57th Legislature convenes on Feb. 3, 2020. The OBA Legislative Monitoring Committee meets regularly and is watching legislative activity.
Legislative Monitoring Committee Gears Up for 2020 Session
By Miles Pringle
Hello from the Legislative Monitoring Committee! The committee has been hard at work gearing up for the 2020 session of the Oklahoma Legislature. As you may know, the purpose of the committee is to monitor legislation that affects the practice of law and to inform members around the state as to the status of said legislation. To that end, the committee recently organized the Legislative Kickoff (a renaming of Legislative Reading Day).
At the Legislative Kickoff lawyers presented 90 bills in 90 minutes on topics from family law to criminal law. Additionally, Chief Justice Gurich gave a presentation on ethical issues relating to cannabis, and we were joined by a panel of legislators to discuss their views on the upcoming session. We greatly appreciate all of the wonderful speakers who gave their time and energy to the kickoff!
ISSUES FOR THE 2020 SESSION
Perhaps some of these issues will have been resolved by the time of publication, but there appear to be several issues the Legislature will be focusing on. First, as in every year, the budget will be a top priority. On Dec. 20, the Oklahoma Board of Equalization certified $8.3 billion of available revenue to spend on next year’s budget. This may make the budgeting process tough as this means revenues are expected to be relatively flat from last year; however, it is still a welcome reprieve from the declining revenues we recently experienced.
Second, also related to revenue, renegotiations of the gaming compacts between the state and the tribes has been making headlines. This dispute has made its way into the courts to interpret whether or not the compacts auto-renewed on Jan. 1 of this year. If an agreement is eventually reached, the Legislature may need to draft legislation to codify the compacts.
Other issues are health care, criminal justice reform and cannabis. The state continues to grapple with if/how to handle Medicaid expansion, and efforts have been made to bring this issue to the voters. Legislators from both sides of the aisle are in favor of doing more on criminal justice, and it appears bail reform may be the next piece that gets addressed. How to properly regulate the exploding cannabis industry in Oklahoma remains a moving target for law makers as well. Come to the OBA’s Day at the Capitol to get an update on these and many other issues!
OBA DAY AT THE CAPITOL
Mark your calendars for OBA’s Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, March 10, at the Oklahoma Bar Center. This event is a good opportunity for OBA members to hear from government officials on their views of the ongoing session. We plan to have representatives from the Supreme Court, Governor’s Office and Office of the Attorney General. Afterward, attendees are invited to go over to the Capitol and meet with legislators.
In addition to learning more about what is going on at the Capitol, the OBA’s Day at the Capitol is the committee’s opportunity to inform legislators about the OBA and that lawyers in the state are happy to be a resource for legislators to consult. We make it clear the OBA is a nonpartisan arm of the Oklahoma Supreme Court made up of attorneys licensed to practice law in this state. The OBA has no position on any particular legislation (unless it is a “bar bill” approved at the OBA’s Annual Meeting), but we are happy to connect legislators with attorneys who have experience in the subject matter he/she may have questions about.
Please contact Debbie Brink at email@example.com, or by calling 405-416-7014 (or 800-522-8065) to RSVP for this event.
As an overview of the legislative process in Oklahoma, here are some important dates for you to be aware of:
- Jan. 16: Deadlines for the introduction of bills and joint resolution, and minor redraft requests
- Feb. 3: First day of the Second Regular Session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature
- March 12: Deadline for third reading of a bill or joint resolution in the house of origin
- April 23: Deadline for third reading of a bill or joint resolution in the house opposite the house of origin
- May 29: Sine Die Adjournment
JOIN THE COMMITTEE
I encourage you to become a member of the Legislative Monitoring Committee, the OBA’s largest committee and one of its most active with attorneys participating from around the state. If you are already a member, continue to sign on and use the MyOKBar Communities page to communicate with the committee. If you have a bill that needs to be posted for others to see, please do so. If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to contact me through the LMC Communities page.
Mr. Pringle is general counsel for The Bankers Bank and serves as the Legislative Monitoring Committee chairperson.