Wednesday of a deadline week, and here is what I am watching today at the #OKleg. On the daily activities floor calendar in the House, we have HB 1238, one of 3 dormant shell bills GOP leadership moved through a special rule yesterday because HB 1236 was amended in the Senate.
Give they already moved HB 1237 yesterday as the original language from HB 1236 + judicial review, going to have to do some digging this AM into the intent behind HB 1238.
We've got a good bill on the list in SB 320, which would clarify parameters for medical parole after the only medical parole hearing during a public health crisis resulted in a list of less than 15 eligible people 🥴
They didn't get to SB 560 yesterday, an anti-freedom bill that, similar to HB 1674, removes liability mechanisms for drivers who injure or kill protesters. It's back on the schedule today.
A few more from yesterday that are back on today's list: SB 585 (concerning removal related to legislative testimony or request response times), SB 778 & 779 (TRAP laws), SB 918 (abortion trigger ban).
They've added SB 862 to the agenda, which may read like it's relatively innocuous, but in practice in the year 2021 creates new scenarios where folks could be criminalized for marijuana use based on where they're smoking or vaping.
Not sure there's any other medication that you're unable to use on municipal or county properties?
House members, who are scheduled to gavel in at 10, have been told to expect another long day (seemingly longer than yesterday), so I will keep an eye on the likely scenario where something gets added to the agenda.
Over in the Senate, they're set to hear HB 2030, which requires Oklahoma students to pass a naturalization test in order to graduate.
HB 2095, which would subject protesters and protest organizers (including organizations) to mob-era crime statutes (RICO).
HB 2515, which greatly expands who could be charged relative to the harm of a child, including in situations where the state already overuses failure to protect. This is using a space where it's politically difficult to show dissent to greatly expand the carceral state.
HB 2774, which removes decision making powers from county and municipal officers, at the expense of public safety, and forces compliance with dangerous immigration detainer requests.
They're also likely to rehear HB 1822, which capitalizes on the current political climate around protest to seek retribution from the teachers walkout, creating unnecessarily burdensome regulations for protesting or gathering at the Capitol.
It likely only failed yesterday due to an importantly critical question from @JuliaKirt around for-profit prohibition language, which could affect the ability of everyone from local makers, cattle producers, alternative energy car companies, & more, from engaging at the Capitol.
Also watching anti-freedom legislation on Stitt's desk, including HB 1674 (removing liability mechanisms for drivers who hit protesters), HB 1643 (criminalizing accountability for cops, elected/appointed officials), SB 403 (criminalizing disruptive tactics at open meetings).
With the Senate set to gavel in at 9:30 and the House at 10, we've got a little reprieve before the chaos ensues. Any other bills you're watching that should be on my radar? Otherwise, I'll be back throughout the day (and night) with updates as much as possible 🥲
Senate kicked off with a reminder about staying focused on decorum and the policies at hand. Possibly because of Senator Jett's outburst yesterday during his attack on abortion care? Also a rule that motions to reconsider be disposed of on the same day.
As the house kicks off, they vote to suspend a rule to that will allow additional people on the floor. Also, as I mentioned was unfortunately possible, the Senate just announced they expect to release an agenda that adds bills at lunch.
A flag this afternoon there are also folks gathering to exercise their right to protest in a session where the attacks on protest are rampant, including 2 more bills in that anti-freedom agenda being heard today. If you're protesting, know your rights.
There's also a new-ish mobile justice app as of this summer, which is helpful to have downloaded for any time you might need to record interactions with law enforcement, including protests.
In the House, some questioning led by Rep Waldron about the impact of declaring open season on prairie dogs relative to the broader ecosystem causes a bill to be laid over.
HB 2774 on the Senate floor now, which forces county and municipal governments to comply with non-warrant immigrant detainer requests, at the expense of public safety.
Senator Brooks, who practices in immigration law, is asking Senator Bullard about due process relative to non-warrant immigration detainer requests he is forcing compliance with. Senator Bullard is unable to answer those questions.
Bullard also showing some misunderstanding (unsure whether intentional or not) about court precedent, suggesting a 9th circuit decision is more relevant than an Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decision.
HB 2774, a bill that removes decision making power from municipal and county decision makers, at the expense of public safety, and creates new and dangerous liabilities by forcing compliance with non-warrant detainer requests, passes from the Senate floor 38-9.
It now heads to the Governor's desk.
Senate seems prepped to break. They're reminding folks that today at 1 PM there is press conference where the legislature is presenting their map proposals, just days after hearing public proposals. They'll have a redistricting committee meeting next week.
Senate is in recess until 1:30.
18 bills and 6 executive noms added to the calendar in the Senate. One of those bills is HB 1775, another bill that was shucked in the legislative process.
HB 1775 in its current form relates to prohibition of mandatory training, orientation, or therapy for any school employee relative to essentially racism, sexism, or gender/sexual diversity. Think of it as HB 1888+, in that it also seems to contest the existence of racism.
Also, HB 2773, legislation designed to attack members of the pardon and parole board who have critical expertise in re-entry work because they work in nonprofits serving formerly incarcerated folks, has been added to the agenda.
HB 2773 has the potential to chill critical votes, where prosecutors and others try to use this now law to silence members who may vote for commutations, pardons, or paroles, by threatening that its a violation of statute if they don't recuse themselves.
Also. Maps are now live, though not in very helpful formats, which seems on brand for the #OKleg.
HB 1095 up in the Senate. This could allow pleas to include restrictions to ban people from a judicial district where convicted (several counties per district). Like, not just banned from living there, banned from going there without permission from the court.
And over in the House they're considering yet another bill that expands where you may soon be able to encounter gun violence thanks to further limitations to where guns can be restricted. .
The HB 1095 hearing including lots of questions about what the actual practice looks like, and Senator Daniels seems unable and unwilling to engage in that discussion, instead pointing to language in the bill, when the issue is one of interpretation and impact.
Seems that this judicial district ban could be used for misdemeanors and felonies.
Unfortunately HB 1095 passes 29-17. People could now be banished from their home/several bordering counties due to a conviction.
Up next in the Senate is HB 2095, which subjects protesters and organizations who engage in planning protests to mob-era crime statutes (RICO). As the author suggests on the floor, this would be used for what's called stacking charges.
Senator Brooks asking about the explicit sentence they're voting on, and Senator Daniels seems unable to provide that answer.
Daniels keeps saying she isn't familiar enough with the statute to answer questions, which seems like an issue for someone who is authoring a change to that statute. She's now just reading the language in the bill instead of answering questions.
Also, if you want to take action around HB 1775, the shucked bill added to the senate floor agenda:
HB 2095, that bill that would subject protesters and protest organizers to RICO charges, just passed the Senate by a margin of 25-20, despite the Senate author's inability to answer substantive questions around impact.
Followed by HB 2515, which expands who can be charged for harm to a child, including expanding enabling child abuse (failure to protect) charging, which passed 40-5. Grateful for those 5 brave votes against this prosecutorial power grab.
The House is currently considering a tax rebate for the film industry, and in wild questions with equally wild answers, they've apparently felt it necessary to outline this credit would not be available for child pornography (as a question and in statute).
Fetgatter just got cut off in debate during the sentence "have you ever heard of veggie tales."
The vote screen has now cut House audio, but just before the vote, as the announcement came through Stitt signed the first 3 anti-freedom bills (HB 1674, HB 1643, SB 403), you could hear people from the gallery chanting about the first amendment.
But now the House is back to business with no more audible protest.
The scene in the chamber:
This seems like way more law enforcement than I saw yesterday when a group of white militants spent the day at the Capitol.
Now the first attack on abortion access of the day, SB 778, a TRAP law in the OK House.
Lepak makes clear this is a bill in response to the election of Joe Biden.
Lepak also says he doesn't agree abortion is health care, which he also notes makes it awkward he is running this restriction that is based on abortion medication as health care, which means he's just refusing to answer parts of questions about the health care in question.
Roe now asking a question to ensure her TRAP law (unnecessary requirement only OBGYNs can provide abortion care-HB 1904 passed in the senate yesterday) doesn't conflict with this TRAP law.
Also, moving so quickly I didn't even get to turn up the volume on my phone (multitasking both chambers) and HB 2030 which requires students pass a naturalization test to graduate high school, passed 37-7.
Now the SB 778 debate digging into whether or not it includes unnecessary regulation around methotrexate, which yes is used in certain situations to treat ectopic pregnancy, and is also used for cancer and other serious conditions.
Seems clear that mostly Rep Lepak hopes this bill provides data about abortion in OK that he and others will try to misuse as they continue to attack access to abortion care, one unconstitutional TRAP law or ban attempt at a time.
HB 2396 in the Senate around college, high school education about sex trafficking "if offered by nonprofit organizations that specialize in outreach and education programs on sex trafficking and exploitation," without any clarification about what makes an org qualified to do that
And it passes with only a single vote in opposition.
With title off SB 778 passes 75-18. And now SB 779, TRAP law part 2.
SB 779 also has title off, and a floor sub.
The Senate is breaking for dinner. The House to my knowledge has not officially taken any break today, and is still on this attack on abortion care bill.
Rep Munson talking about the ways this impacts the state's ability to recruit and retain medical professionals, especially those who work in and around reproductive health.
Munson with a fire question, "How can I trust that abortion care is where you'll stop?" Asking Lepak what happens if there's another kind of health care he doesn't like. In response he essentially says you can't predict the future.
Yesterday white militants, unmasked and strapped with knives were in the gallery and rotunda, and I definitely did not see a security sweep then. But the second you have protesters of color showing up to be heard...
And SB 779 passes 76-19.
Though the House is still going, I'm taking a quick recess for @piejunkieokc lemon cream before a 6:15 meeting/however many more hours of legislation this evening. I'll report out votes of anything critical on my list that moves while I'm away from my phone.
They were out of the pie. And my back up slice. And now I am stuck in a parking lot because someone has run over a curb near the single entrance/exit, because they were trying to leave and a fire truck (not in an emergency) was parked behind them 🙃
While I was driving back they briefly tried to hear SB 334, a SQ 780 rollback bill. It was only set on the agenda this morning, so it is not yet eligible, so definitely contact your Rep to vote no ahead of tomorrow, when it will likely be heard.
SB 918, the trigger abortion ban (Oklahomans would immediately lose access to abortion care in the case Roe were overturned), up in the House, now.
And it passes 72-19.
The Senate has returned from dinner. From the general order list, looks like they have 25ish more bills + 6 executive nominations.
Now SB 584, which is some very strange attempt to perpetuate unfounded myths about abortion care providers.
The bill more specifically "prohibits Medicaid and any other state or federal reimbursement for health care providers which are found guilty of trafficking fetal body parts in violation of state or federal law."
Senate is still in quorum call.
Up in the Senate is HB 2564, which will subject state questions to costly and unnecessary recounts.
Making a personal note that normally on the evening of April 21, I'd be attending Aggie Muster. It's a tradition from my alma mater that I find very special, a moment to reflect on everyone we've lost in the last year.
But tonight I'm plugged into issues that could be a matter of life and death for a lot of folks. So I'm saying here for a lot of folks whose health and safety and quality of life is on the line, and those who lost their lives in the last year because of failed policy decisions.
And on that note, HB 2564 in the Senate would have resulted in an automatic recount (and attempt to overturn) the victory of SQ 802, which is resulting in much needed healthcare access to so many Oklahomans.
Now the author (Quinn) now seemingly suggesting on the floor that maybe past state questions had "outside influence." Or at least sharing that concern from his constituents.
Hicks asks why they would just hold a recount for state questions, when candidates are also on those ballots. Quinn talks around that about small steps and not taking too big a bite of an apple.
Senator Young follows up on that undue influence question. And follows up again. Though Quinn now saying that in asking a tough question Young is twisting his words.
Now Quinn saying that he is not saying that there was undue influence but that he is saying that people are saying that there was the possibility of undue influence, again suggesting Young, who is just asking a clarifying question about a dangerous assertion Quinn keeps making.
The weird body part trafficking funding prohibition bill, SB 584, passes out of the House 77-17.
House is doing announcements and introductions. Not sure if they're about to break for dinner or if they're wrapping for the day.
House is adjourned until tomorrow morning. Agenda isn't live yet, but know that we should expect SB 334, a SQ 780 rollback to come back up. Worthen wrongfully described it today as giving more time for law enforcement to investigate.
What it actually does is double the time over which the felony theft threshold amount can be calculated! A timeline which has already been raised once since SQ 780, without any data to suggest that's necessary! Just further criminalizes poverty.
HB 2564 still on questioning in the Senate.
And, unfortunately, it passes, by a vote of 37-8.
Currently HB 2236 is up, one that had a pretty excruciating Committee hearing, and makes you really wonder why we're so eager for a chance to criminalize folks receiving workers compensation.
Passes 33-13.
Now HB 2773, the bill targeting members of the pardon and parole board whose expertise lie in their work in re-entry spaces, in an attempt to chill votes in favor of commutation, pardon, and parole.
Passes 38-9, on party lines.
HB 1775 up now, a bill that was shucked in the Senate Education Committee.
In its current form it would prohibit schools from mandating training or counseling that, essentially, deals with racism, gender or sexual diversity, sexism...
There's a floor amendment. Which the author explains addresseshigher ed concerns. The language of this bill is just wild, y'all. Things like "any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex..."
The author says he has not spoken with the state board of education around this, which seems oversight.
The floor substitute would also prohibit mandating this training for certain students.
Senator Kirt also asks, per the bill, what does it mean to feel discomfort in such a way they're prohibiting trainings relative to that.
Like, imagine the privilege necessary to think that you should protect white students from ever feeling discomfort around confronting their own racism.
Also, Jett now helping Bullard spin this as wanting to keep people from teaching a race or sex is superior. But...we all know that is not what's really at play here.
He's making this clear that this floor sub is now both a blend of the worst parts of HB 1888 and the worst parts of SB 803 (which was never heard in committee), plus some new terrible ideas. Because the rules don't matter this session.
Like, essentially Bullard is taking issue, very clearly, with the idea that white folks are inherently racist. Let me be clear, that's a fact. We as white folks have to commit to anti-racist work, and Bullard wants to make that even harder in Oklahoma.
Floyd asking about this stack of research (done over this last weekend) Bullard keeps referencing as the reason behind this bill. Bullard says some national, a few OK specific instances, and the OK school boards have "ignored" complaints.
Really a moment where I'm reminded if I were on the floor at this point I'd probably go fully Billy Eichner with questions.
Senator Hicks asking Bullard what gives him confidence in his answer, and that's art. Because he won't really answer it, but we know that his experience as white man is probably what does it.
Senator Young digging into questions about how its impossible to shield people from discomfort as they confront their history and their present.
Being reminded that Senator Bullard was an educator is always really terrifying. Like, I don't like these folks legislating, but it seems so much scarier that they were allowed to engage with youth as experts on anything.
Senator Matthews asking for the examples of where this is a problem (we'd all really love to see those).
Matthews asks how many people requested this bill. Bullard says this is not a request, but there are many (which he defines as more than 2) relevant instances of this in OK.
Matthews asked what inspired this research. Now Bullard saying the language was brought to him and asked if he would run and he did some research then decided he would run it...which does sound like a request. He still hasn't named who brought him that language.
Also, what inspired the urgency. He shucked a bill in committee just this month to introduce this language. It wasn't something he originally authored.
JA Dossett asks Bullard which school districts teach these concepts. He says he refuses to name specific districts. And doubles down saying it is her job to have researched this. But this language was just added as a floor sub?
Dahm going down some line of questioning about tense of language and that allowing teachers to teach things were racist, and that seems really very much to suggest both of these men are legislating as if racism does not currently exist.
And Hicks digging into that. How does this apply to current events, she asks. Bullard keeps saying it's easy, but that it can (must) be without suggesting any people are currently racist because of their race.
Bullard keeps going back to not teaching kids they're a superior race or sex, without acknowledging this bill also prohibits teaching/training/counseling around the fact that we're socialized to believe that and we have to do both conscious-raising and unlearning there.
Boren digging into questions around the language in the bill that essentially equates to teaching "I don't see race" as the norm.
Matthews asking what his research suggested curriculum said was the superior race and gender. Bullard essentially gives a non answer saying that there was a superior race.
He now just keeps responding "as long as kids aren't taught they are inherently racist or sexist."
Hicks now returning to a question about why private schools are excluded from this statute.
Brooks asking if the author believes race and gender bias exist today. Bullard won't answer saying they're not germane to the bill...which is about prohibiting mandatory training, orientation, or counseling that acknowledges racism and gender bias.
"We're not telling students what they cannot think, we're telling teachers what they cannot teach." a real thing just said by Senator Bullard, on the Senate floor just now.
There's a lot of questioning focused on the part of this bill just added in committee sub about what cannot be taught. But just don't want to lose the fact that this also prohibits trainings around these concepts for staff who work with students and families on a daily basis.
Senator Rader reading a constituent email that seems to essentially suggest maybe a 12 year old shouldn't have to read something that makes them engage in critical self-reflection around race or disability status? And for that reason he thinks this bill is good?
We're at debate. Senator Young, who 14 hours into the day is not parsing his words, acknowledging racism still exists, acknowledging a majority white room, and that the very nature of this bill is control, is rooted in racism.
"This bill creates more problem than it even looks at trying to solve," says Senator @geysr1954, urging the body to keep the educating to educators, counseling to counselors, and acknowledging the inherently racist nature of this bill.
Senator Young said if this policy was really built on this intention of lifting up folks marginalized by race, Black folks would have been consulted in drafting it. And that doesn't even begin to touch on gender.
Senator Young talking about what it means when people removed from the history, from the impact make decisions without the lens of racism and race, talks about the recent bill that made cotton the state fiber.
Senator Matthews now talking about how much of his career as a firefighter he spent teaching diversity, because he was one of the few Black firefighters in his jurisdiction.
And just a note if you're reading along at home and not watching, the folks who have stood to ask critical questions of this legislation have been Black, Latinx, queer and/or women.
Matthews note this body is legislating out of fear. It's not trusting schools and school administrations to handle situations if there's potential harm. It's about control.
New Senator, Jake Merrick (a white man with a shaved head who maybe should think twice about inserting his expert opinion on racism), talking about how it's important no OK child be taught they're racist. He thinks this bill would protect his daughters from hearing they're racist
Merrick says suggesting racist is inherent is Marxist and anti-American. And while I think unfortunately I must agree that it's anti-American, I don't think that's a good ideal we should uphold in statute or practice.
Senator Hamilton, a man whose legislation this year focused on attacking transgender youth, violating the constitution to attack access to abortion care, & giving people more guns, is now quoting Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saying this bill is the American Dr. King dreamed of
Standridge now saying Norman Public Schools is one of the schools doing these objectionable trainings with educators and that you can witness that on YouTube.
Standridge laughing as he reads what allyship is in PWI. He seems to object to the idea people should disrupt white supremacy, and that he finds that and the whole presentation offensive as a right person.
He says he has trained his children to look past race and gender and trainings like these inject racism into a generation that otherwise didn't have it.
Boren, who also represents Norman, says most good people are ready to confront their racism, and in their discomfort apologize rather than run to the Capitol and try to legislate away any of their shame and discomfort.
Senator Hicks talks about the history she made as the first woman in her seat. What it meant to campaign while pregnant. She notes she wasn't supposed to win. Says she shows up as a disruptor. And that it's critical to discuss the differences, to understand the inequities.
Hicks reminds body we are in a continued teacher shortage. And that bills like this overregulate, undermine the intelligence of, suppress curiosity of our educators. And push them away. She challenges the suggestion by engaging in critical conversations about race are Marxists.
She apologizes if her debate made anyone uncomfortable. She notes her constant discomfort as the only woman, only Dem, in rooms in these buildings. But that it's also combined with pride, of moments of bold growth.
Bullard now closing debate. Talking about slavery again. And that even in painful times there are bright stars? And now he's talking about the Bible as history.
Also feels critical to note when talking about conversations about racism in Oklahoma we have not brought up Indigenous folks at all.
Bullard now trying to illustrate how not racist he is by his ability to name Black historical figures.
Bullard suggests the problem is critical race theory. He says it teaches a lie called intersectionality. Seems to also take issue with not only inherent racism but also structural racism.
Bullard now talking about his "beautiful brown skinned" friends who have a show called Red River TV. One of them said critical race theory is racism because it teaches white people are racist and that white people must be subservient to "every whim" of Black people.
Bullard praises the intellect of her quote (for those playing racists refusing to confront their racism BINGO at home). Now also quoting MLK.
And quoting Frederick Douglass, just to round things out.
Y'all, I really think they're about to pass this egregious bill they're claiming is necessary to combat racism? sexism? being exacerbated/taught from a place of shame in schools with a coalition of Black, Latinx, queer folks, and women voting against it.
HB 1775 passes 38-9, with an emergency (goes into effect immediately instead of in November).
The Senate is now, after that dumpster fire, adjourned until tomorrow at 9:30 AM.
The House is also set to reconvene at 9:30 AM. But tomorrow offers the sweet, sweet relief of a deadline (I know that that relief isn't very concrete especially not given the number of times they circumvented the rules this session), so let's stay vigilant.
In YIKES bills tomorrow. In the House, they're set to hear SB 119 which would create a lot of arduous and burdensome (and some may say unconstitutional) requirements with regard to gathering or protesting at the Capitol, including an application timeline and liability insurance.
In bringing up all the worst things they broke the rules for, the house will be hearing SB 627, the language previously know as HB 1888. Similar to some of HB 1775, this would prohibit state agencies from mandating training or counseling related to gender or sexual diversity.
It seems they removed SB 560 from the agenda now that the Governor has signed HB 1674, but they do have another anti-freedom bill in the form of SB 806, which just creates more ways for prosecutors to stack charges against protesters.
SB 815, authorizing the prominent display of In God We Trust in county and municipal buildings made the agenda.
And it seems likely after trying to hear it today despite lacking eligibility at the time, SB 334, a SQ 780 rollback bill, will be heard as well.
We don't have a Senate agenda, yet. But I am sure after today, it's not going to be good. Sleep well, and I will see you all back online earlier than I would like in the morning.
You can follow @mcafee2012.
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