Oklahoma's legislature is traditionally in session until Memorial Weekend. This year they clocked out 3 weeks early. And already we see 3 serious failures from that bad behavior. In the next two weeks the legislature could have prudently assessed some key developments and given the people of Oklahoma a better year ahead.
Three Huge Issues Will Get No Action Form The Legislature.
1. Teacher Pay Raise Detachment From HB1010xx.
State Treasurer Ken Miller did his best to get out the great news of Oklahoma's massive increase in tax revenue collections in April. He published that news just 24 hours before adjournment. In that news he shows a projected budget surplus far above $1 Billion dollars. Given that, the the teacher pay raise can fully be funded for the 2019 fiscal year without a dependency on the massive tax increases from the disputed bill which is set to be blocked when the Veto Referendum is certified, in mid July.
2. Sports Gambling Expansion.
The federal ban on gambling was struck down, yesterday, by the supreme Court of the U.S. . This will immediately open up online sports betting across the republic; except in Oklahoma's outlets. Tribes have been anticipating this day and wish to make the opportunity available at their Oklahoma outlets. But again, the legislature went home without knowing this could happen. More wealth will now leave the state.
3. Constitutional Carry & the restoration of the Bill of Rights.
Had the legislature remained in session, the governor would have had 5 days to act on SB1212, or it would automatically become law. The governor did not veto the bill in those 5 days. But even if she had, the two chambers of legislature could have held floor votes to override. Given the outrage among voters, the House likely would have gotten almost every one of the Republican votes and probably 5 of the Democrats. The Senate vote was more than the 2/3 required.
There were other matter that should also have been attended to, such as Rep. Jordan's HB3468. It should have been brought to the Senate floor for passage. It provides responsible regulation of Medical Cannabis, in the event that the State Question passes, on the June 26th ballot. We expect that many Oklahomans would add their own suggestions to the list of things that should have gotten done.
The average Oklahoman does not feel any sympathy for the legislature's long and tiring special sessions. That is a mistake of their own making. They selected the leadership which violated the constitution and then couldn't have the intelligence to override the governor's veto of the bill which ended the 1st special session.