2024 Mid Legislative Session Update

We are officially halfway through the 2024 Legislative Session! At the beginning of the session, we were tracking hundreds of harmful bills. As the session has continued, there are still dangerous and damaging bills attacking reproductive freedom, 2SLGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, religious freedom, and a fair and just criminal legal system. 
Although there is some harmful legislation that has passed their committees, there is still good news. Many of these bills did not survive the floor deadline. This includes DEI bans, attacks on reproductive freedom, such as allowing for the prosecution of pregnant persons obtaining an abortion, or restricting access to emergency contraceptives, Ten Commandments in classrooms or at the State Capitol, chaplains as school counselors, pride flag bans on public grounds, and gender marker updates on birth certificate bans. It is important to note that bills never fully die, but as of now, we can celebrate that none of these bills will be moving forward. 
It is not shocking that reproductive rights have been one of the main issue areas targeted by our legislatures. There are currently three bills attacking reproductive freedom. HB 3013 will make it a felony for trafficking abortion pills. HB 3098 will make it a felony to willfully spread STIs including HPV. (80-90% of the population has had HPV at point in their lives). Lastly, HB 3002 establishes personhood in cases of assault and battery. This is an incredibly dangerous bill because personhood is what laid the groundwork for the Alabama IVF decision.  
For the 2SLGBTQ+ community there are also three bills that have survived the deadline. SB 1677 prohibits DHS from requiring potential adoptive or foster parents to affirm 2SLGBTQ+ children. HB 3214 allows any healthcare providers and payers to deny healthcare based on “conscience.” Lastly, HB 3022 forces prisons to segregate based on gender assigned at birth. This bill will forcibly detransition incarcerated transgender individuals by housing them with a gender not consistent with their gender identity. Not only will this heighten the risk of sexual violence against incarcerated transgender individuals, but it is a clear violation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act, which would cost our state federal funding. 
Criminal legal is the issue area with the most bills having survived the deadline. SJR 34 is a state question to repeal the independent Judicial Nominating Commission and give judicial nominating power to the Governor and Senate. HJR 1053 is a state question to add alternative members to the Pardon and Parole Board in the case of a tie or vacancy. HB 3071 prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving services from entities that receive state funding. HB 3694 is a SQ 780 rollback bill that would reduce the felony larceny limit from $1,000 to $500. This means you could be charged with a felony for stealing a cell phone. Finally, some of the most alarming bills are HB 3686 and SB 1854. These are identical bills that would criminalize people experiencing homelessness. Houseless individuals with encampments on state owned property will face a $50 fine or 15 days in jail.  
The last issue area with bills surviving the deadline is voting and elections, with three bills surviving. HB 1105 restricts the ballot initiative petition process by requiring a $1,000 filing feel, extending the challenge period from 10 days to 90 days, and requiring all signature collectors to go through a background check by the OSBI. The initiative petition is a form of direct democracy and allows voters to take matters into their own hand. From medical marijuana, criminal legal reform, and religious freedom, Oklahoma voters were all able to exercise their right to choose for themselves when lawmakers did not listen. Lastly, HB 3156 bans ranked choice voting and HB 3713 requires voter ID cards to have a photo.  
As the legislative session continues, our bill tracker can be found on our website. For weekly updates, you can also follow @ACLUOK on social media for Under the Dome updates every Monday.