Despite the assurances of legislative leaders that only a limited number of bills would be considered, the activity inside the state Capitol resumed at a rapid pace last week. The House and Senate addressed over 400 measures during a two-week return to session.
Most of the attention centered on a flurry of significant actions that took place on May 13. Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed the entire $7.8 billion general appropriations bill and three other funding measures, but the state Legislature successfully overrode those vetoes before the end of the day.
A large amount of agricultural legislation was advanced for floor consideration, despite the lack of a committee process for bills in the opposite chamber of origin. Measures that weakened food safety standards for meat inspection and homemade foods intended for retail sale were approved, as was a bill that strengthened consumer protection by creating legal definitions for beef and pork.
Other topics that completed the irregular fast-track process included farmers market operations, state hemp regulation and the initiative petition process. Legislators adjourned on May 15 for what is expected to be the last time this year, but procedurally left the door open for a return any time until May 29 if they should choose to conduct any other veto override votes.
OKFB will provide a detailed overview of this year’s unusual legislative session in the coming weeks after all executive action is complete.