May 29, 2019 •

Oklahoma Gov. Signs Resolution Rejecting Proposed Ethics Rules

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a resolution on May 28 to disapprove proposed amendments to the state ethics rules relating to lobbying and campaign finance. Senate Joint Resolution 22 rejects rule amendments submitted by the Ethics Commission during the 2019 legislative […]

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a resolution on May 28 to disapprove proposed amendments to the state ethics rules relating to lobbying and campaign finance.

Senate Joint Resolution 22 rejects rule amendments submitted by the Ethics Commission during the 2019 legislative session.

Among the proposals rejected was Proposed Rule 2019-01, which would have added a definition to “coordination” or “coordinated” for purposes of determining what is considered a contribution in a campaign for elected state office.

The resolution also disapproved Proposed Rule 2019-03, which would have provided a two-year waiting period before an individual who served as an elected state officer or chief administrative officer of a state agency may lobby, or be paid to influence an action of the legislature or the entity the officer previously served.

Proposed Rule 2019-04, which sought to prohibit candidates from directing contributions from a limited political action committee to one or more candidates or candidate committees, was also rejected.

The proposed rules would have taken effect after adjournment sine die of the legislative session.

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March 18, 2019 •

Oklahoma Increases Political Contribution Limits

Political candidates in Oklahoma will be able to accept $2,800 per election from individuals the next time they run. The Federal Election Commission increased the individual contributions limit $100 to account for inflation. It is the first increase in four […]

Political candidates in Oklahoma will be able to accept $2,800 per election from individuals the next time they run.

The Federal Election Commission increased the individual contributions limit $100 to account for inflation. It is the first increase in four years.

The limit increase applies to primary, runoff primary, and general election ballots in 2020, as well as candidates in any special election this year.

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February 12, 2019 •

Oklahoma Ethics Commission Acts on Proposed Rule Changes

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission chose not to vote on Proposed Rule 2019-02 after hearing public comments that the proposal would affect free speech and political activity. The proposed rule would have required disclosure of the names of organizations involved in […]

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission chose not to vote on Proposed Rule 2019-02 after hearing public comments that the proposal would affect free speech and political activity.

The proposed rule would have required disclosure of the names of organizations involved in indirect or grassroots lobbying via radio, phone, internet or other broadcast media if those groups spent more than $500 on campaigns for or against specific pieces of legislation.

Those groups would also have been required to file reports with the Ethics Commission if expenditures exceeded $5,000.

The Ethics Commission passed other proposals for consideration, including a revolving door provision prohibiting elected state officers and chief administrative officers from lobbying for two years following their terms of office or service, new rules regarding the due dates of electronic filings, and revised reporting periods for candidate election reports and independent expenditure reports.

Additionally, the Ethics Commission submitted a proposal to prohibit state legislators from operating or becoming an officer of a PAC.

If the Legislature chooses not to reject the proposed rule changes again, all passed amendments will be effective upon adjournment sine die of the regular legislative session on May 31.

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February 4, 2019 •

Oklahoma Restricts Contributions During Legislative Session

Beginning Monday, February 4, through five calendar days following sine die adjournment, several actions regarding campaign contributions by lobbyist principals are prohibited in Oklahoma. A lobbyist or lobbyist principal must not make a campaign contribution to a member of the […]

Beginning Monday, February 4, through five calendar days following sine die adjournment, several actions regarding campaign contributions by lobbyist principals are prohibited in Oklahoma.

A lobbyist or lobbyist principal must not make a campaign contribution to a member of the legislature or a candidate for state legislative office; promise to make a campaign contribution for a member of the legislature or candidate for state legislative office; or solicit a campaign contribution for a member of the legislature or candidate for state legislative office.

A member of the Legislature or a candidate for state legislative office must not intentionally solicit a campaign contribution from a lobbyist or lobbyist principal; or intentionally accept a campaign contribution from a lobbyist or lobbyist principal.

A contribution from a lobbyist or lobbyist principal to a member of the legislature or a candidate for legislative office that has not been deposited before February 4 must be returned to the contributor.

This statutory blackout period does not prevent a limited Political Action Committee (PAC) from making one or more contributions to a candidate committee up to the limits allowed under the ethics rules provided the PAC is not represented by a lobbyist.

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September 26, 2018 •

Oklahoma Supreme Court Denies Ethics Commission Funding

In a long legal battle, the Oklahoma Ethics Commission lost a battle to receive more funding to carry out its oversight functions. The Legislature appropriates funds to the Ethics Commission, and it complained to the Supreme Court the legislatures have […]

In a long legal battle, the Oklahoma Ethics Commission lost a battle to receive more funding to carry out its oversight functions.

The Legislature appropriates funds to the Ethics Commission, and it complained to the Supreme Court the legislatures have underfunded it for years in violation of the Constitution.

The court rejected the commission’s complaint 5-4, stating it has money “sufficient to enable it to perform its duties,” which the Constitution says.

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September 18, 2018 •

Oklahoma Ethics Commission Adopts Rules Previously Rejected by the Legislature

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission adopted ethics rules for the second time this year. In February, the commission submitted its 2018 Promulgated Ethics Rules to the governor and both houses of the Legislature. Proposed changes included a revolving door provision prohibiting […]

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission adopted ethics rules for the second time this year. In February, the commission submitted its 2018 Promulgated Ethics Rules to the governor and both houses of the Legislature.

Proposed changes included a revolving door provision prohibiting elected state officers and chief administrative officers from lobbying for two years following their terms of office or service, new rules regarding the due dates of electronic filings, and revised reporting periods for candidate election reports and independent expenditure reports.

The Legislature rejected those rules during the 2018 session. Despite the rejection earlier this year, the commission adopted the rules again on September 14, 2018.

If the Legislature chooses not to reject the proposed rule changes again, all amendments will be effective upon adjournment sine die of the 2019 regular legislative session.

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June 28, 2018 •

Oklahoma Ethics Commission Sues for More Funding

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission filed suit in the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday, asking the court to require the Legislature and Gov. Mary Fallin to increase the agency’s funding. Lawmakers refused to provide the commission with any money from the […]

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission filed suit in the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday, asking the court to require the Legislature and Gov. Mary Fallin to increase the agency’s funding.

Lawmakers refused to provide the commission with any money from the state’s general revenue fund, leaving it with insufficient funding to complete its constitutional duties.

Earlier this month, the commission increased registration fees for lobbyists and political committees in an effort to increase revenue. Despite doing so, the fiscal year appropriation remains insufficient by more than $2 million.

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June 11, 2018 •

Oklahoma Ethics Commission Raises Registration Fees

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission voted Friday to increase lobbying and campaign finance fees to avoid a potential financial crisis. Because the Legislature refused to give the agency any money from the general revenue fund, the commission could run out of […]

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission voted Friday to increase lobbying and campaign finance fees to avoid a potential financial crisis.

Because the Legislature refused to give the agency any money from the general revenue fund, the commission could run out of money next fiscal year.

In the past, the commission was given an appropriation to use for operational expenses. It then used the money generated from fees to fund ethics investigations.

This year; however, the Legislature instructed the agency to use fees as its sole source of funding.

Commissioners claim lawmakers failed to fund the agency in retaliation for imposing strict ethics rules. The commission is expected to file suit with the Oklahoma Supreme Court to address the lack of funding.

All registration fees will increase $100 effective July 1.

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May 9, 2018 •

Oklahoma Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

The Second Regular Session of the 56th Oklahoma State Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, May 3. Prior to adjournment, lawmakers considered the 2018 Promulgated Ethics Rules previously submitted by the State Ethics Commission. Claiming the commission exceeded its authority, […]

The Second Regular Session of the 56th Oklahoma State Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, May 3.

Prior to adjournment, lawmakers considered the 2018 Promulgated Ethics Rules previously submitted by the State Ethics Commission. Claiming the commission exceeded its authority, lawmakers rejected a revolving door provision prohibiting elected state officers and chief administrative officers from lobbying for two years following their terms of office or service.

Legislators did, however, approve changes affecting due dates of electronic filings as well as revised reporting periods for candidate election reports and independent expenditure reports. Approved changes became effective upon adjournment.

The First Regular Session of the 57th Legislature will convene at noon on January 8, 2019.

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February 15, 2018 •

Oklahoma Legislature to Consider Ethics Commission Rule Amendments

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission recently submitted its 2018 Promulgated Ethics Rules to the governor and both houses of the Legislature. Proposed changes include, but are not limited to, a revolving door provision prohibiting elected state officers and chief administrative officers […]

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission recently submitted its 2018 Promulgated Ethics Rules to the governor and both houses of the Legislature.

Proposed changes include, but are not limited to, a revolving door provision prohibiting elected state officers and chief administrative officers from lobbying for two years following their terms of office or service, new rules regarding the due dates of electronic filings, and revised reporting periods for candidate election reports and independent expenditure reports.

If the Legislature chooses not to reject the proposed rule changes, all amendments will be effective upon adjournment sine die of the 2018 regular legislative session.

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November 27, 2017 •

Oklahoma Special Session Adjourns, Governor Vetoes Passed Budget Legislation

The Oklahoma Legislature adjourned an eight-week special session on Friday, November 17, after the Senate gave final approval on legislation to balance the state’s budget. Just hours after the session ended, Gov. Mary Fallin line-item vetoed most of the budget […]

The Oklahoma Legislature adjourned an eight-week special session on Friday, November 17, after the Senate gave final approval on legislation to balance the state’s budget.

Just hours after the session ended, Gov. Mary Fallin line-item vetoed most of the budget bill’s provisions citing a failure to address the requests she made in calling the session and the lack of a long-term solution to re-occurring budget deficits. Provisions temporarily preserving funding for crucial health and human services were retained as the state continues to seek a solution.

The vetoed bill would have used cash reserves and made deep cuts to funding across all state agencies to close the $215 million hole in the state budget.

Gov. Fallin said she intends to call a second special session of the Legislature to come up with long-term funding solutions.

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October 30, 2017 •

Oklahoma Ethics Commission Reviewing Proposed Amendment

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission held an informal meeting this week to review a proposed amendment regarding a cooling-off period for elected officials and state employees. The proposed amendment would require state employees and public officials to wait 2 years before […]

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission held an informal meeting this week to review a proposed amendment regarding a cooling-off period for elected officials and state employees.

The proposed amendment would require state employees and public officials to wait 2 years before registering as a lobbyist or representing another entity before the agency he or she previously served.

Supporters believe a cooling-off period prevents a conflict of interest while opponents to the proposed amendment feel it discourages involvement in government.

The proposal also includes a waiver of the restriction if the intent of the cooling-off period would not be undermined when waived.

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October 17, 2017 •

Oklahoma Ethics Commission Temporarily Relocates

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission temporarily moved to the Oklahoma Judicial Center, Room E118, at 2100 N. Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 on Friday, October 13, 2017, and will be at that location through Sunday, October 22nd, 2017. The Oklahoma State Capitol […]

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission temporarily moved to the Oklahoma Judicial Center, Room E118, at 2100 N. Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 on Friday, October 13, 2017, and will be at that location through Sunday, October 22nd, 2017.

The Oklahoma State Capitol is undergoing a building-wide electrical outage to transfer power to a new electrical room as a part of an ongoing restoration project, and the Ethics Commission office in the Capitol is closed.

The Commission staff will be available in person at the Judicial Center and by email and phone. This does not affect the Ethics Commission website or online reporting system.

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September 15, 2017 •

Special Election Called for Oklahoma Senate

Gov. Mary Fallin has called a special election to fill a vacant seat in Oklahoma Senate District 27. Bryce Marlatt resigned his seat on Tuesday after being charged with a felony count of sexual battery for grabbing an Uber driver’s […]

Gov. Mary Fallin has called a special election to fill a vacant seat in Oklahoma Senate District 27.

Bryce Marlatt resigned his seat on Tuesday after being charged with a felony count of sexual battery for grabbing an Uber driver’s head and kissing her neck while she was driving him to a bar.

A special primary will be held December 12, with a special general to follow on February 13, 2018.

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