OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt is set to speak on the end of the 2022 Legislative Session at 4 p.m. Thursday.
KFOR plans to live stream his remarks.
From the budget to the bathroom, Oklahoma’s lawmakers have sent hundreds of bills to Gov. Stitt for approval or veto this session.
Earlier this week, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 615 into law. The new law requires sex education materials used in school counselor-led meetings or classes to be inspected by the student’s parents or legal guardian. This includes topics like sexual orientation and gender identity.
An added amendment also requires schools to enforce a ‘biological sex’ bathroom policy.
The governor also signed a bill into law Wednesday that bans abortion at conception, making Oklahoma the state with the strictest anti-abortion law in the nation.
But that’s not the only anti-abortion legislation to pass this session.
Stitt signed Senate Bill 612 into law earlier this year, and Senate Bill 1503 into law earlier this month.
SB 612 makes it a felony for doctors to perform abortions. Doctors who perform abortions face up to 10 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. It goes into effect in late August.
SB 1503, also known as the Oklahoma Heartbeat Act, is a Texas-style anti-abortion law that opens up physicians to civil lawsuits if they perform abortions after cardiac activity can be detected in an embryo – around six weeks of pregnancy. It immediately went into effect after Stitt signed it.
On May 20, the proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2023 cleared both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature and was sent to Gov. Kevin Stitt for final approval.
“It’s a bill that appropriates $9.8 billion,” said Sen. Roger Thompson of Okemah, the head of the Senate Budget Committee on this year’s budget.
Included in the budget this year is $32.5 million to eliminate the state’s 13-year waiting list for developmental disability services.
Other bills signed this session include a new law to require insurance companies to completely cover diagnostic mammograms, one to improve law enforcement mental health, another to update the state’s list of newborn screening conditions to match the federal recommendations, and many more.
However, some bills were also vetoed by Stitt this session.
In early May, the governor vetoed a bill that would have increased coordination between Tribal judicial systems and state agencies, calling it “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
In late April, he also vetoed an amendment to the rules of the State Ethics Commission that would require state officials who are appointed by the Governor as an agency director or a cabinet secretary to file financial disclosure statements.
State legislators and officials were also shocked when Stitt vetoed a bipartisan bill that was created to extend state employees’ unused vacation time.
The work isn’t over, though. The Oklahoma Legislature is planning to call a concurrent legislative session concerning $1.8 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund spending.
Governor Kevin Stitt is expected to speak on the conclusion of the current legislative session in the Oklahoma State Capitol’s Blue Room at 4 p.m. Thursday. KFOR will carry it live.
You can view all approved and vetoed bills from the 2022 Legislative Session on LegiScan.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism