April 3, 2020 •

Oklahoma Governor Calls Special Legislative Session

Oklahoma Capitol Building

Oklahoma legislators will head back to the Capitol on April 6 for a special legislative session to confirm Gov. Kevin Stitt’s declaration of a statewide health emergency due to COVID-19. Lawmakers are in the middle of the legislative session, but […]

Oklahoma legislators will head back to the Capitol on April 6 for a special legislative session to confirm Gov. Kevin Stitt’s declaration of a statewide health emergency due to COVID-19.

Lawmakers are in the middle of the legislative session, but they cleared out of the state Capitol as the COVID-19 outbreak ramped up.

The Legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn by 5 p.m. on May 29.

Legislators have not yet set a date to return to pass a state budget and any other legislative priorities.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 16, 2020 •

Oklahoma Lawmakers to Hold Meeting on Coronavirus

Oklahoma Capitol Building

Members of the Oklahoma Legislature will meet in a special closed-door meeting March 16 to discuss the impact of the coronavirus in the state. Republicans and Democrats will meet with state health officials to discuss the following: State services What […]

Members of the Oklahoma Legislature will meet in a special closed-door meeting March 16 to discuss the impact of the coronavirus in the state.

Republicans and Democrats will meet with state health officials to discuss the following:

    • State services
    • What other states are doing to curtail the spread of the virus
    • The future of the legislative session

Additionally, if the legislative session is suspended, Gov. Kevin Stitt may call lawmakers back into session at a later date.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

February 13, 2020 •

Oklahoma Governor Issues Executive Order to Cut Regulations

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt

Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order on February 3 designed to prune state regulations by 25%. Executive Order 2020-03 has two main requirements. First, state agencies must review their administrative rules and list any that are expensive, ineffective, redundant, […]

Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order on February 3 designed to prune state regulations by 25%.

Executive Order 2020-03 has two main requirements.

First, state agencies must review their administrative rules and list any that are expensive, ineffective, redundant, or outdated.

Second, for all new restrictive rules proposed after February 15, agencies have to eliminate at least two existing regulatory restrictions until agencies reduce regulations by 25%.

The order requires the Oklahoma secretary of state to write an annual report for the governor that outlines progress made in eliminating burdensome regulations and streamlining state government.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

February 11, 2020 •

Oklahoma Senator Resigns from District 28 Seat

Former Rep. Jason Smalley - Michael Duncan

Rep. Jason Smalley resigned from his Senate District 28 seat effective January 31 after serving six years in the district. Smalley will become a senior account manager at Motorola Solutions Corp. for their Oklahoma operation. By law, the special election […]

Rep. Jason Smalley resigned from his Senate District 28 seat effective January 31 after serving six years in the district.

Smalley will become a senior account manager at Motorola Solutions Corp. for their Oklahoma operation.

By law, the special election must fall on the dates of the regular primary election, runoff primary election, or general election.

Gov. Kevin Stitt must call for a special election no later than 30 days after Sen. Smalley’s vacancy.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 16, 2020 •

Oklahoma Ethics Commission Increases Contribution Limits

Oklahoma Capitol Building

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission adjusted the contribution limit that individuals may give to 2020 candidate committees and that state candidate committees may give to other state candidate committees. This contribution limit has increased from $2,700 to $2,800 per election. However, […]

The Oklahoma Ethics Commission adjusted the contribution limit that individuals may give to 2020 candidate committees and that state candidate committees may give to other state candidate committees.

This contribution limit has increased from $2,700 to $2,800 per election.

However, candidate committees created for elections prior to 2020 keep the same contribution limit of $2,700.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 8, 2019 •

Oklahoma Gov. Extends Restrictions on Contract Lobbyists

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt

Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order on July 5 instructing state agencies to end the practice of hiring outside firms to lobby the Legislature. Executive Order 2019-29 prohibits all state agencies from entering or extending any contracts with lobbyists […]

Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order on July 5 instructing state agencies to end the practice of hiring outside firms to lobby the Legislature.

Executive Order 2019-29 prohibits all state agencies from entering or extending any contracts with lobbyists without securing written approval from one of Stitt’s cabinet secretaries.

Stitt stated in the executive order that the practice of expending taxpayers’ money on the hiring of outside lobbyists to lobby on behalf of a state agency was not a proper use of state funds.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

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.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

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.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

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.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

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.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

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.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

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.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

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.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

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.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close