This was a deadline week for legislators to get their bills through.  In all lawmakers heard more than 600 bills.

The senate kicked off the week passing a bill to create the legislative office of fiscal transparency to determine whether agencies are asking for more money than they need.  Ironically, the office of transparency will be anything but transparent.  

“Yes, they would not fall under the open records act.” Senator Greg Treat (R) President Pro Tempore said Monday.

Descendants of slaves owned by Native Americans in five Oklahoma Tribes say they want a cut of proceeds from casinos to go to the state in their name.

“All of the tribes have taken positions to discriminate against the freedmen” Marilyn Vann of the Descendants of the Freedmen said.

Governor Kevin Stitt meanwhile signed five bills into law that will give him the power to hire and fire the heads of agencies like the department of health, the department of juvenile affairs and the department of corrections. 

 

“The main thing that this does is it makes sure we are all on the same team.  And now they are reporting up to the cabinet.  They’re reporting up to the executive branch.” Stitt said.

The governor also signed the unity bill, which sets rules on the sale and use of medical marijuana.  It includes testing to make sure marijuana is free of dangerous chemicals and is packaged properly.

“Tamper resistant.  Not making gummies that are attractive to children. Those types of things.”  Senator Greg McCortney (R-Ada) said.

A bill that would have outlawed smoking in most public places was pulled by the author, Representative Harold Wright (R) House Speaker Pro Tempore on Thursday.

“It received a lot of opposition from a lot of people in the tobacco industry.” Wright said.

The week ended with the House of Representatives suspending its high school internship program after one intern, called a page, accused another page of sexual assault.  The alleged incident happened one day before the house killed a bill to teach teens, “no means no.”  The failed bill was authored by Representative Jacob Rosecrants (D-Norman).

“How proud would we have been to have passed something out of the house to prevent what just happened inside the House,” Rosecrants said.

 

Next week should be slow at the state Capitol with lawmakers taking a half week off for spring break.