The first session of Oklahoma’s 58th Legislature has officially adjourned sine die!
“Sine die” is a Latin phrase meaning “without day.” In legislative use, when we adjourn sine die, we adjourn without assigning a day for another meeting. When we adjourn in this way, it leaves open the possibility of coming back for a special session if the need arises.
The state constitution requires the Legislature to meet in session from the first Monday in February to the last Friday in May. It also requires the Legislature to have set forth a balanced budget for the next fiscal year by 5 p.m. on the last Friday in May. It is always our goal to sine die in alignment with this deadline, although we can enter into a special session after this deadline if absolutely necessary.
This year, we already know that we will hold a special session in the fall for redistricting purposes. Due to a delay with the U.S. Census Bureau, Oklahoma has not received our final census data, so the maps we passed and the Governor signed into law are not the final maps. We may need to adjust the some of the district lines depending on how different the latest numbers are.
We couldn’t delay drawing our legislative maps because the Oklahoma Constitution requires that legislative boundaries be drawn during session. Without the final data from the Census Bureau, we used data from their 2019 American Communities Survey, which was the most recent data available.
Throughout the month of July, we’ll host town hall meetings across the state and virtually to hear Oklahomans’ opinions on the boundaries of our congressional districts. We’ll return to the Capitol around September or October after receiving the final data to approve any changes to the redistricting maps and to approve congressional district boundaries.
Between our redistricting duties and the many bills we considered this year, it has been a very busy session! I personally had 15 bills that I was the primary House author of that made it through the legislative process and were signed into law by the Governor this session. I’m very grateful for the support of my colleagues in the legislature for their support on these bills and for the Governor.
While we still have more work to do next session, we met many of our goals this session and helped move Oklahoma forward in education, infrastructure, healthcare and other important areas. I am immensely proud of the legislation we saw become law this year, and I’ll highlight some especially notable bills next week.
Now that we’re in interim, I won’t be in my Capitol office as regularly, but I will be continuing to work from my office back in District 51 to address issues facing my constituents. Please contact me with any concerns you may have.
Thank you for the honor of representing District 51—God bless!