For The Children Weekly Column

Legislative Deadlines You Need to Know

November 14, 2022


Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117


OKLAHOMA CITY – With the elections in the history books, we now know who will be serving in the various political offices in Oklahoma. Congratulations to those who won their races and thank you to those who put their names on the ballot.

State senators and representatives will be sworn in Wednesday, November 16. Then, those newly-elected members may begin the process of submitting ideas for consideration in the 2023 Oklahoma Legislature. Should any issue arise requiring a special session to occur, these new lawmakers will be the ones to tackle the issues raised. They will also soon submit their requests for committee placements, select their offices and seats based upon seniority in service, and hire the person who will work directly with them in their offices.

For the newly-elected and returning members of Oklahoma’s Executive Branch, their oath of office will be held on the second Monday in January, which falls on January 9 in 2023. Their work begins officially on that day, with a transition period occurring from now until then, which includes the hiring of staff and preparation of a budget for the Legislature to consider.

The bill request deadline for lawmakers to submit ideas will be on Friday, December 9.  Each lawmaker can submit as many ideas as they would like for the legislative staff to research, but House members can only file eight bills which will be allowed to proceed through the process unless they have special dispensation from the Speaker to submit more.  State senators can file an unlimited number of bills for consideration, but they usually limit themselves as it takes quite a bit of time and effort to move even a few bills through the process.

The legislative leadership will officially be elected to their roles in the House and Senate on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. This is called Organizational Day, and they will also vote on establishing the rules of order for the upcoming two years. These parliamentary guidelines will help them maintain deadlines, decorum, and the process which is followed for the day-to-day activities of the session.

The bill requests are kept confidential until Thursday, January 19, 2023, at 4 p.m. This is the deadline for filing the bills publicly with the legislative staff. Members do not need to wait until this date, but many of the ideas submitted take time for the staff to research and write into the proper format to comply with the Oklahoma Constitution and the state statutes which might overlap with the idea. Special thanks go out to these men and women who work for the Legislature for their dedication to seeing the process go smoothly.

The First Regular Session of the 59th Oklahoma Legislature will convene Monday, February 6 at noon. Lawmakers will see their bills receive a “first reading,” at which the bill is officially assigned a bill number. Governor Stitt will also deliver his annual State of the State address to lawmakers with his suggestions for policies.

On the second day, bills will be considered “second read” and be referred to the various committees, which will truly begin the work of the Legislature.

We at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy look forward to working with these officials. We will soon release our “Children’s Legislative Agenda” for lawmakers to consider taking on some of these ideas. We will keep you posted in future columns about this progress.