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Making our Big Courtroom Wins PERMANENT with Legislative Change.

To permanently stop the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, authentic modifications need to occur in Statute 69 Section 1701-1705—The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Enabling Act. Without changes to this statute the OTA will keep building wherever and whenever they want.

The 2023 Oklahoma legislative session is February through May. Pike Off OTA and concerned citizens are working hard with legislators to craft bills that add common sense requirements and citizen protections to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s enabling act.

We need Oklahomans throughout the state to reach out to their legislators in support of this proposed legislation!

Text reads "We need YOU to call and email your legislators! Ask them to support the following legislation"

Legislation to Watch

In the House

also see "Shell Bills" below

House Bill 1913, Authored by Representative Fugate (D-Oklahoma City)

Title 69, Section 1703 – Amendatory. Requires Governor appointees to be approved by the OK State Senate. Requires board members to be retained by retention ballot in the District in which the candidate lives, instead of being re-appointed by the Governor. A board term is 8-years.
 

House Bill 2125, Authored by Representative Swope (D-Tulsa)

Title 69, Sections 1705(o) and 1711 – Amendatory. Adds clarifying language to location of enforcement of violations and requires legislative approval for OTA to modify turnpike tolls.

House Bill 2191, Authored by Representative Kevin West (R-Moore)

Title 27, Section 5 – Amendatory to change what direct delegations of the state can condemn lands for: public “purposes” has been changed to public “uses.” New Law. Adds language into the statute for how eminent domain would work for abandoned and blighted property. Adds language explaining that “the public purpose or public benefit of economic development, including an increase in tax base, tax revenues, employment, or general economic health, does not constitute a public use.” Also adds in language protecting the citizens and asking the courts to construe eminent domain statutes in favor of the property owner and against the condemning authority.  “A governmental body subordinate to the state may not exercise, create, extend or expand a power of eminent domain in the absence of statutory authority.”

House Bill 2262, Authored by Representative Sterling (R-Tecumseh)

Title 69, Section 1705(e) – Amendatory. Prior to legislative authorization, feasibility studies must be conducted. Sunset existing location authorizations unless construction has occurred within five years.

House Bill 2263, Authored by Representative Sterling (R-Tecumseh)

Title 69, Section 1703 – Amendatory. Changing the board membership appointment process by requiring two appointed by Governor (Districts 1,2), two by Speaker of the House (Districts 3,4), two by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate (Districts 5,6). The board term is changed from 8 years to 6 years. Adds language discussing conflicts-of-interest and prohibiting members from voting on issues where they may have direct financial interest, and requires board members to complete an annual disclosure.

House Bill 2264, Authored by Representative Sterling (R-Tecumseh)

Title 69, Sections 1705 & 1718 – Amendatory. Bonds can only be granted after review of reliable, data-driven transportation planning and public policy studies, and appropriate public notice and input. Prior to filing an application for approval of any bond issue with the Council of Bond Oversight, or prior to the issuance of any bonds, the OTA is required to notify and obtain express approval of any municipality, county, federal or state agency affected by the project. OTA is required to provide actual notice via certified mail to all real property owners within one mile in any direction of the routes and conduct public meetings to present, review and receive public comment. Any studies conducted to provide the justification or impacts, must be conducted in such a way to limit the conflicts-of-interest between the consulting firms providing the justifications and the engineering firms performing the work. All studies must be reviewed by an independent body.

House Bill 2606, Authored by Representative Humphrey (R-Lane)

Title 69 – New Law. Section 1737. Requires the OTA to create a route map of the proposed project that shall list all affected landowners that will be used for the purpose of calling a special election, where the voting pool for the special election shall consist only of landowners whose properties are affected.

House Bill 2728, Authored by Representative Menz (D-Norman)

Title 69, Section 1718 – Amendatory. Requires real notice of the intent to ask for bond validation at either the Council for Bond Oversight or the Supreme Court via certified mail to real property owners within a 1-mile radius of proposed project at least 10 days prior to hearing.

House Bill 2729, Authored by Representative Menz (D-Norman)

Title 74, Section 213 – Amendatory. Requiring State Audit and Inspector to perform and complete a special audit of the OTA prior to December 2023.

House Bill 2730, Authored by Representative Menz (D-Norman)

Title 51, Section 24A.5 – Requiring public bodies to respond to open record requests within a 30-day timeline.

In the Senate

Senate Bill 41, Authored by Senator Dahm (R-Tulsa)

Sen. Dahm, co-authored by Rep. Olsen – Title 27, Sections 5 & 17 – Eminent domain bill. Amendatory to change what direct delegations of the state can condemn lands for: public “purposes” has been changed to public “uses.” The bill requires condemners to “return at no cost” surplus lands “to the person from whom the property was taken or the heirs of the person,” rather than offering first right of refusal on re-sale only after condemnation. This bill does not address what should happen to surplus lands that occur from a pre-condemnation negotiated settlement. Judiciary Comm.

Senate Bill 89, Authored by Senator Kirt (D-OKC)

Title 51 – Open records bill. Amendatory to require notice to requestor when open records requests cannot be completed within seven (7) days. Requires agency to indicate the reason for delay and specify a date within a reasonable time when the information requested will be available for inspection or duplication. Judiciary Comm.

Senate Bill 199, Authored by Senator Standridge (R-Norman)

Title 69 – New Law. Creating a joint legislative 10-member task force made up of 5 members for the House of Representatives and 5 members of the Senate for the purpose of studying the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority functions, activities, policies, procedures and expenditures and any related issues the task force deems appropriate. The task force may also compel the Turnpike Authority to provide any relevant documentation. Transportation Comm.

Senate Bill 235, Authored by Senator Rader (R-Tulsa)

Title 74 – Exempts the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority from having their assets,
including their personnel, transferred to the Oklahoma Broadband Office. Energy and Telecommunications Comm.

Senate Bill 419, Authored by Senator Boren (D-Norman)

Title 69, Section 1711 – New Law. OTA must have legislative approval, by joint resolution, before increasing toll rates on any turnpikes in this state. Transportation Comm.

Senate Bill 644, Authored by Senator Prieto (R-Tulsa)

Title 25 – Amendatory. Requires public comment period, subject to reasonable time limitations, for any agenda item or item of new business at a meeting of the public body. A member of the public may exercise all rights of free speech and assembly granted pursuant to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the US to address the public body.  General Gov. Comm.

Senate Bill 741, Authored by Senator Woods (R-Westville)

Title 47 – Amendatory. Electronic Toll Collection Act – All school buses shall be exempt from being required to pay any toll or charge for use of any turnpike of this state. Transportation Comm. then Appropriations Comm.  

Senate Bill 864, Authored by Senator Dahm (R-Tulsa)

Title 69, Section 1737 – New Law. There shall be a moratorium on all turnpike projects in the state, until feasibility studies are conducted. Transportation Comm.

Senate Bill 970, Authored by Senator Jett (R-Shawnee)

Title 69, Section 1705.7 – New Law. No turnpike shall be authorized unless legislature receives results of a special election from among property owners whose lands are situated within a one-mile radius of the proposed turnpike routes. Transportation Comm.

Senate Bill 1079, Authored by Senator Jett (R-Shawnee)

Title 69, Section 1705(e) – Amendatory. Sunsetting existing location authorizations unless construction has occurred within five years. Transportation Comm.

Shell Bills

What is a shell bill? It is typically a bill with no substance introduced for the purposes of later being amended to include actual content. These are important wildcards to watch.

House Bill 1069, Authored by Representative Menz (D-Norman)

Title 27 – EMPTY Shell Bill on Eminent Domain “act shall be known as the “Oklahoma Eminent Domain Act of 2023.”

House Bill 1208, Authored by Speaker McCall (R-Atoka)

New Law – EMPTY Shell Bill on Transportation – “act shall be known and may be cited as the “Transportation Reform Act.”

House Bill 1209, Authored by Speaker McCall (R-Atoka)

New Law – EMPTY Shell Bill on Transportation – “act shall be known and may be cited as the “Transportation Reform Act.”

House Bill 1240, Authored by Speaker McCall (R-Atoka)

Title 27 – EMPTY Shell Bill on Eminent Domain “act shall be known as the “Oklahoma Eminent Domain Act of 2023.”

House Bill 1250, Authored by Speaker McCall (R-Atoka)

Title 27 – EMPTY Shell Bill on Eminent Domain “act shall be known as the “Oklahoma Eminent Domain Act of 2023.”

House Bill 2199, Authored by Representative Dick Lowe (R)

New Law – EMPTY Shell Bill on Transportation – “act shall be known and may be cited as the “Transportation Reform Act.”

House Bill 2417, Authored by Representative Johns (R)

New Law – EMPTY Shell Bill on Transportation – “act shall be known and may be cited as the “Transportation Reform Act.”

House Bill 2731, Authored by Representative Menz (D-Norman)

Title 27 – EMPTY Shell Bill on Eminent Domain “act shall be known as the “Oklahoma Eminent Domain Act of 2023.”

Legislative Resources for Oklahomans

Oklahoma Legislators: House and Senate

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Bill Tracking

Oklahoma Legislative Guide

  • Download the Oklahoma Legislative Guide. This is a great asset to have at your disposal. In it, you can find out where your Senator and Representative are located in the Capitol, you can keep notes on meetings you might have, and you can take a roll call on votes from the floor. Check it out on the App Store or Google Play:

Who, What, Where, Why, and How does the legislative process work?

The legislative process can be convoluted and confusing. The video below demystifies the process and walks through this slide deck explaining each step: How a Bill Becomes a Law.pptx