The deadline for members of the Oklahoma State Senate to file legislation for the first session of the 53rd Legislature was 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 20th. By that deadline 969 bills and 44 joint resolutions filed. Last year 1082 bills and 82 joint resolutions were filed, with 860 Senate Bills and 38 Senate Joint Resolutions carried over from the 2009 session.
The total for the 2011 bill filing does not include appropriations shell bills. Under a change in Senate rules this year, appropriations and redistricting bills are not subject to the deadlines controlling the processing of substantive, or policy, bills. This change was made in an effort to improve efficiency and increase transparency in the legislative process.
Members of the public can read and download current legislation by going to the official State Senate website at www.oksenate.gov and following the link for legislation at the top of the homepage. The Senate website also includes daily agendas, meeting notices, calendars, statutes and other helpful information. Several features have been added to the system this year.
Free computer training will be offered to anyone interested in learning how to track legislation online. The training will be held on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in room 419-C. These one hour sessions will be repeated in 419-C on Thursday, January 27 at 9:30 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. There will also be streaming video available of the training sessions on the Senate website.
The 2011 legislative session will officially get underway on Monday, February 7. The Senate offers streaming audio and video from the Senate Chamber, as well as from committee rooms 419-C and 511-A. Wireless Internet access is available to all Capitol visitors throughout the Senate gallery, rotunda, committee rooms, offices and press rooms.