The Legislature officially finished business on Friday, May 26, at 5 p.m. The Oklahoma Constitution states that the Legislature’s regular session shall be “adjourned sine die not later than five p.m. on the last Friday in May of each year.”
We’ve had a very successful session and passed bills covering everything from education to election protection to economic development.
Session started with 1,901 House Bills and 1,191 Senate Bills filed ahead of deadline. In the end, we passed over 370 House and Senate Bills onto the governor during the regular session, in addition to 90 bills filed in our concurrent special session, which we called to consider bills related to the Fiscal Year 24 budget and federal COVID relief appropriation.
So far, over 280 bills have become law through the governor’s signature or through a veto override, which requires a 2/3 vote from each chamber.
We passed our budget and ARPA bills during our concurrent special session, which allows us to come back to override any vetoes on those bills if needed.
The legislatively-appropriated budget takes months to prepare and is based on input from dozens of public legislative budget hearings, the governor’s executive budget proposals, hundreds of publicly available agency budgets and requests, and all citizens through their elected representatives, who each serve on budget committees.
We approved our state budget for Fiscal Year 24 this week. The entire budget is appropriated through dozens of bills, but the general appropriations bill, House Bill 1004X, passed the House on Wednesday.
The largest area of the budget continues to be education, at $5.65 billion. Public K-12 schools are funded at the highest level in state history, $3.97 billion.
Our historic education plan increases common education appropriations by $625 million annually and creates a tax credit program with a Fiscal Year 2024 cap of $155 million, which climbs to $255 million for Fiscal Year 2026.
Higher education receives just over $1 billion, including a $130 million state appropriation increase, as well as a $48.9 million increase to faculty salaries, $20 million for the expansion of engineering programs, and $17.4 million for the state’s scholarship program and teacher employment incentive program.
Health remains the second largest area of investment at 18.2% of the budget; included in that is SB33X. It provides $10 million for home-based services for developmentally disabled individuals and $5.6 million for the Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Account. Investing in these services strengthens the fabric of our communities, and I am thankful to see it included in the budget.
With my first session nearly behind me, I’m thankful for all that I’ve learned about the legislative process this year, and I’m excited to use the knowledge and skillset I’ve gained this year to continue to serve District 31!
I am thankful and honored that the constituents of House District 31 have entrusted me with the responsibility of serving in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns at 405-557-7350 or email@example.com.