The Legislative Digest is your weekly look at the happenings of Oklahoma’s state legislature and the bills and politics you need to know.
There are 12 weeks left of school, and we’re all slogging through it. Things are rough! So consider this week a boost of positivity: sometimes, bills in our state legislature can be good, and I’m going to prove it to you.
HB1117: This isn’t the first time a bill to stop having Daylight Savings Time in Oklahoma has been proposed, but still, I hope and pray that it gets passed this year. Daylight Savings Time sucks! It’s bad and complicated and effectively useless. We already know time is fake, just stop making us change our clocks twice a year. It’s a good bill. It literally would just stop Daylight Savings Time. Let us have this.
SB58: This bill would ensure that employees who vote in an election, provided that they’ve notified their employer in due time and are gone for an acceptable amount of time specified in the bill, would not be penalized for voting. That means they wouldn’t lose out on pay.
This isn’t to say that this removes all roadblocks to people being able to vote, but it’s a move in the right direction. We should all support any movement toward ensuring that people get to participate in our democracy. The alternative is a government run by businessmen who don’t care about anyone but themselves and their wallets, so this feels like a timely bill. It’s also classified as an “emergency” bill. Emergencies in legislature mean that, if passed, the bill would be effective immediately after it’s signed into law.
SB299: There are a bunch of requirements for teacher education, and more things that they should know about and expect from students before they step into a classroom. This bill would add dyslexia education to that list. It might cause some hiccups in terms of how to add that into teacher education, including an increase in cost and time. But at the end of the day, it would also likely help a great many children who don’t understand why school is harder for them than for their friends.
SB21: Is there anything sillier or more entertaining than state mascots? The fact that the scissortail flycatcher is the state bird of Oklahoma, or that the state flower is the Oklahoma rose, is incredible. How useless! This bill doesn’t disappoint: it would add steaks to the roster. It proposes that the Oklahoma steak would be ribeye steak. Does this matter in the grand scheme of things? Absolutely not. But at least our legislature has a sense of fun.