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Gov. Stitt completes action on Oklahoma bills

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Gov. Stitt completes action on Oklahoma bills

Jun 19, 2024 | 12:00 pm ET
By Barbara Hoberock
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Gov. Stitt completes action on Oklahoma bills
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Gov. Kevin Stitt signs a law eliminating the state grocery tax on Feb. 27. (Photo by Janelle Stecklein/Oklahoma Voice)

OKLAHOMA CITY – By the time the dust had settled on the legislative session, Gov. Stitt had signed 488 bills and doled out 32 vetoes, some of which were overridden, according to his office.

The veto figures do not include line-item vetoes, where Stitt only objected to certain sections of a bill but approved the remainder.

The deadline was Friday when Stitt signed the remaining 74 bills, many dealing with funding, and vetoed others.

Bills Stitt signed include:

  • House Bill 2914, dubbed the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office Funding Assistance Grant Program, that provides $17.9 million to help fund local departments.
  • House Bill 2923 that provides a 7% raise for district, associate and special district judges. It becomes effective July 1 at a cost of nearly $3.2 million.  The Legislature rejected a recommendation by the Board on Judicial Compensation for a 17% across-the-board raise for all judges.
  • House Bill 2896 that provides an additional $74 million for a Department of Public Safety for its centralized training center and related facilities.
  • Senate Bill 1155 to help finish the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture, which is being built in Tulsa.
  • House Bill 1734 requiring criminal background checks for owners and employees of medical marijuana facilities.

On June 5, Stitt signed Senate Bill 1994 that would allow property owners to ask sheriffs to remove those who are unlawfully occupying the requestor’s property if certain conditions are met.

Those who unlawfully occupy a property or trespass and cause damages of $1,000 or more would be subject to a felony, a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to three years or both.

On May 31, Stitt signed House Bill 1105 that increased the challenge period for initiative petitions and referendums to 90 days from 10.

Critics said the measure would make it more difficult to get measures on the ballot. Supporters said it was necessary to ensure the integrity of the process.

Stitt also signed Senate Bill 473 creating judicial offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City for business courts. 

It also created an 11-member task force to study the creation of a business court system in Oklahoma. The deadline for the final report is no later than Jan. 1, 2026.

Stitt lobbied for the creation of a business court system during budget negotiations.

Stitt on May 31 approved House Bill 1792, dubbed the Oklahoma Sentencing Modernization Act of 2024, that overhauls felony sentencing to provide more consistency in penalties issued from county to county.

Stitt also signed Senate Bill 1424 that protects poultry producers from civil suits if they are following a state approved waste disposal plan. Chicken waste is sold as fertilizer.

Chicken waste disposal was the subject of a federal lawsuit brought by the state stemming from pollution in the Illinois River Watershed.