Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: January 23, 2015
filed for 2015 session
The deadline for members of the Oklahoma State Senate
to file legislation for the first session of the 55th Legislature
was 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 22. A total of 815 Senate bills
were filed, along with 32 joint resolutions. The total number is
down compared to the first session of the 54th Legislature in 2013
when 1,119 bills and 34 joint resolutions were filed.
Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike
Schulz explained the decrease this year really isn’t a
surprise. In the past, members have filed shell bills—bills
that really didn’t have any substantive language in them but
that could be used later in the session as a vehicle for legislation.
This year on Organizational Day, the full Senate voted unanimously
to change the rules, doing away with shell bills.
“A shell bill is basically a place-holder. Once that place-holder
gets in the process, it becomes things that maybe you didn’t
see coming,” said Schulz, R-Altus, noting if you subtract
the shell bills filed in previous years, the number of substantive
bills filed this year is about the same as it’s been in the
past.. “Everything that we do is to try to bring more transparency
into the process. I believe that rule change in itself brings a
lot of transparency into the process.”
The new rules do allow for substantive legislation to be introduced
after the filing deadline. The floor leader must assign the bill
to committee, but at that point, the entire committee becomes the
published author of the bill, and the committee chair decides who
will present the bill on the floor. While legislation can be introduced
throughout the session, if the member wants it to be considered
during the current session, it still must be heard in committee
and then on the floor within the first six weeks of session.
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, and other helpful information.
The 2015 legislative session will reconvene on Monday, February
2. The Senate offers streaming audio and video from the Senate Chamber,
as well as from all committee rooms. Wireless Internet access is
available to all Capitol visitors throughout the Senate gallery,
rotunda, committee rooms, offices and press rooms.
For more information, contact
Malia Bennett, Communications Director: (405) 521-5774