Oklahoma House of Representatives

Last updated
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Oklahoma State Legislature
OK House of Representatives Seal.png
Type
Type
Term limits
12-year cumulative total, in either or both chambers
History
New session started
February 4, 2019
Leadership
Speaker Pro Tempore
Majority Leader
Majority Whip
Minority Leader
Minority Whip
Structure
Seats101
Oklahoma house diagram april 2019.svg
Political groups
Majority

Minority

Length of term
2 years
AuthorityArticle V, Oklahoma Constitution
Salary$38,400/year + per diem
Elections
Last election
November 6, 2018
(101 seats)
Next election
November 3, 2020
(101 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
House of Representatives Chamber
Oklahoma State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Website
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Seal of Oklahoma.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Oklahoma

The Oklahoma House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Its members introduce and vote on bills and resolutions, provide legislative oversight for state agencies, and help to craft the state's budget. The upper house of the Oklahoma Legislature is the Oklahoma Senate.

A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.

Oklahoma Legislature

The Legislature of the State of Oklahoma is the state legislative branch of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate are the two houses that make up the bicameral state legislature. There are 101 state representatives, each serving a two-year term, and 48 state senators, who serve four-year terms that are staggered so only half of the Oklahoma Senate districts are eligible in each election year. Legislators are elected directly by the people from single member districts of equal population. The Oklahoma Legislature meets annually in the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Contents

The Oklahoma Constitution established the powers of the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1907. Voters further amended those powers through constitutional referenda. One referendum required legislators to balance the annual state budget. Others specified the length and dates of the legislative session. Today, there are 101 House members, each representing a legislative district. District boundaries are redrawn every decade to ensure districts of equal population.

One must be 21 years of age at the time of election and a qualified elector and resident of the legislative district to serve in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The state holds district elections every two years coincident with federal elections and special elections to fill vacant seats. The House meets from early February until the last Friday in May. Members elect a Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives as the presiding officer and a Speaker Pro Tempore, who serves as the presiding officer in his or her absence. Members organize in political party-based caucuses to develop partisan policy agendas.

A political party is an organized group of people, with broadly common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.

After the 2018 election, Republicans hold a supermajority of the House seats.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

A supermajority or supra-majority or a qualified majority, is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level of support which is greater than the threshold of more than one-half used for majority.

History

Early years

The Oklahoma Constitution established both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate in 1907. It met in Guthrie until 1910. [1] William H. Murray was the first Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Less than 50 legislative employees aided lawmakers in the first year. [2]

Oklahoma Senate upper state chamber of a state of the United-States of America

The Oklahoma Senate is the upper house of the two houses of the Legislature of Oklahoma, the other being the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The total number of senators is set at 48 by the Oklahoma Constitution.

Guthrie, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Guthrie is a city and county seat in Logan County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City Metroplex. The population was 10,191 at the 2010 census, a 2.7 percent increase from the 9,925 at the 2000 census.

William H. Murray ninth governor of Oklahoma

William Henry Davis "Alfalfa Bill" Murray was an American educator, lawyer, and politician who became active in Oklahoma before statehood as legal adviser to Governor Douglas H. Johnston of the Chickasaw Nation. Although not American Indian, he was appointed by Johnston as the Chickasaw delegate to the Convention for the proposed State of Sequoyah, and was later elected as a delegate to the 1906 constitutional convention for the proposed state of Oklahoma.

A weakening of the Democratic coalition leading up to the 1908 election allowed Republicans to make gains in the Oklahoma House. Republicans gained an even third of the legislative seats. [3] The largest gains came in Holdenville, Okmulgee, and Guthrie, each of which had a sizable African-American population. [3]

The Oklahoma Democratic lawmakers of the early 1900s opposed integration. The first legislature passed legislation that made it almost impossible for African-Americans to vote. [3] The legislature's first African-American member, A. C. Hamlin, served only one term, though he did gain the support of his fellow lawmakers to fund an African-American school in his district and create more equal accommodations for black and white railroad passengers. [4]

The Democratic Party also pushed to make Oklahoma City the capital over Guthrie, a Republican and African-American voting stronghold. [3]

In 1913, a House investigative committee forced the resignation of the state auditor and impeached the state printer and insurance commissioner. [2] The legislature at the time included Democratic members who were angry at then Governor Lee Cruce over his veto of a redistricting plan that would have gerrymandered Congressional districts and his attempt to remove public institutions established by earlier legislatures. [5] Cruce escaped an impeachment trial by one vote of the House investigative committee. [5]

Women earned the right to vote in Oklahoma in 1918 through a constitutional amendment approved by voters. [6] In 1920, Bessie McColgin became the first woman elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. A Republican, McColgin and her female colleague in the Oklahoma Senate, focused on the passage of public health bills, but failed in many of their efforts. [7]

After eight Democratic-controlled Legislatures, Republicans took the majority from 1921-1922 and elected George B. Schwabe as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. [8] The Republican-dominated House brought impeachment charges against Lieutenant Governor Martin Trapp and narrowly failed to approve impeachment charges against both the state treasurer and Oklahoma Governor James Roberts. The Democratic-dominated Senate did not sustain the impeachment charges against Trapp. [9]

Members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives voted eleven articles of impeachment against Governor Henry S. Johnston, which led to his expulsion from office. [10]

1930s through 1950s

A severe drought beginning in 1932 in western Oklahoma combined with land consolidation and mechanization in eastern Oklahoma drove farmers out of the state and left others in economic distress. [11] Legislatures of the 1930s battled with governors William H. Murray and Ernest W. Marland, targeting Murray's efforts to generate relief for farmers and Marland's proposals to create a state public works program, reform the tax code and create unemployment insurance. [11] Lawmakers did enact an old age pension system funded by a dedicated sales tax. [11] The rejection of providing state matching funds for New Deal projects resulted in fewer projects. [11] A conservative reaction developed in Oklahoma in the late 1930s and rejected further New Deal programs. [11]

In 1941, Governor Leon C. Phillips pushed the state legislature to send a constitutional amendment to voters to force the Oklahoma House of Representatives to approve a balanced budget each year. [12] Ever since voters approved the state question, the state legislature has been constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget.

The number of Republican Party seats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives plummeted in the 1930s. [13]

1960s to present

The legislative sessions held by the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate changed due to two key legislative reforms in 1966 and 1989. In 1966, Oklahomans voted to institute 90-day annual sessions. [14] An initiative petition championed by Governor Henry Bellmon in 1989 further required the legislative sessions to end by 5 p.m. on the last Friday in May. [2]

After earlier attempts to raise legislative pay failed, voters approved a state question in 1968 to create a board to set legislative compensation. It set compensation at $8,400 that year. [2]

State legislators enacted Oklahoma's open meeting and open records laws in 1977, but made the Oklahoma House of Representatives exempt. [15]

A shift in the behavior of Oklahoma voters occurred, beginning in the 1960s. Registered Democrats began to more often vote Republican, due to dissatisfaction with the leftist progressive wing of the national party. [16] After the 2004 Presidential Election, Republicans gained control of the House for the first time since 1921. [17] In 2010, Republicans gained a large majority of 70 seats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. [18] Following the 2018 general election, Republicans gained the largest majority in state history with 76 of the 101 seats. This also includes the largest ever freshman class, with 46 new representatives. [19]

Powers and legislative process

The Oklahoma House and the Oklahoma Senate are responsible for introducing and voting on bills and resolutions, providing legislative oversight for state agencies, and helping to craft the state's budget. [1] Every ten years, legislators are responsible for designating new district boundaries for state electoral districts, along with Congressional districts. The governor must sign these bills into law, or a statewide panel convenes to draw the disputed lines. [20]

Legislators, with staff support, develop and file bills prior to the legislative session. Bill sponsors submit requests for bill drafting to the professional staff of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The staff ensure bills have proper legal language and meet constitutional requirements. The bills are filed electronically with the Clerk of the House's office by a designated filing deadline. Since 1999, members of the Oklahoma House are limited to a maximum of eight bills that will receive a hearing. [21]

A proposal may be introduced as a bill, a joint resolution, a concurrent resolution, or a simple resolution. [22] Legislators use joint resolutions to propose a constitutional amendment. Concurrent resolutions (passed by both houses) and simple resolutions (passed by only one house) do not have the force of law. Instead, they serve to express the opinion of approving house of houses, or to regulate procedure. Article 5 Section 33 of the Oklahoma Constitution requires bills for raising revenue to originate in the Oklahoma House.

Oklahoma State Capitol Central view of Oklahoma Capitol building.JPG
Oklahoma State Capitol
House of Representative's Chamber Oklahoma House of Representatives chamber.png
House of Representative's Chamber

The Oklahoma House meets in regular session in the west wing of the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City, from the first Monday in February to the last Friday in May. Special sessions may be called by the governor, or by a written call signed by two-thirds of the members of each chamber of the Legislature.

Bills receive a First Reading when they are published in the House Journal. They then undergo a Second Reading upon assignment to committee. The committee system is designed to screen out legislation that is, in the committee's judgment, unnecessary or not ready for passage. [21]

Committees either stop the progress of a bill or approve it for consideration on the floor of the House. When a bill is called up on the floor, either the principal author or a member of his or her choice will be recognized for the explanation of the bill. Typically, after questions from other members, the bill is advanced to Third Reading and a vote is taken on final passage. [21]

Fifty-one votes are required for bill passage on the floor of the Oklahoma House. Lawmakers also vote on whether or not to make the bill effective upon signature of the governor, which requires a two-thirds majority. Action on the floor is recorded in the House Journal. [21]

Once approved on Third Reading, which is the name for this stage of the floor process, approved bills are sent to the Oklahoma Senate. If amended, bills will return to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for an acceptance of the Senate amendment(s) or to work out the differences in a conference committee, but can go directly to the governor after Senate passage. [21]

The Oklahoma House is not subject to the state's open meeting and open records laws due to provisions to exempt the state legislature in the 1977-enacted laws. [15]

Party composition

Down-arrow-14.png
7724
RepublicanDemocratic
AffiliationParty
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Republican Democratic Vacant
54th Legislature72291010
55th legislature71301010
Begin 56th Legislature75261010
End 56th Legislature7227992
Begin 57th Legislature76251010
December 6, 2018 [23] 77241010
Latest voting share76.24%23.76%

Current members

Oklahoma House of Representatives districts after the November 6, 2018 elections.
Democratic Party
Republican Party Oklahoma House of Representatives map November 2018.png
Oklahoma House of Representatives districts after the November 6, 2018 elections.
  Democratic Party
  Republican Party
DistrictRepresentativePartyResidenceServing since
1 Johnny Tadlock Republican Idabel 2014
2Jim OlsenRepublican Sallisaw 2018
3Lundy KigerRepublican Poteau 2018
4Matt MeredithDemocratic Hulbert 2016
5Josh WestRepublican Grove 2016
6Rusty CornwellRepublican Vinita 2018
7 Ben Loring Democratic Miami 2014
8Tom GannRepublican Inola 2016
9Mark LepakRepublican Claremore 2014
10Judd StromRepublican Copan 2018
11Derrel FincherRepublican Bartlesville 2018
12Kevin McDugleRepublican Broken Arrow 2016
13Avery FrixRepublican Muskogee 2016
14Chris SneedRepublican Fort Gibson 2018
15Randy RandlemanRepublican Eufala 2018
16Scott FetgatterRepublican Okmulgee 2016
17Jim GregoRepublican McAlester 2018
18David SmithRepublican McAlester 2018
19 Justin Humphrey Republican Lane 2016
20Sherrie ConleyRepublican New Castle 2018
21Dustin RobertsRepublican Durant 2011
22 Charles McCall Republican Atoka 2013
23Terry O'DonnellRepublican Catoosa 2013
24Logan PhillipsRepublican Beggs 2018
25Ronny JohnsRepublican Ada 2018
26Dell KerbsRepublican Shawnee 2016
27Danny SterlingRepublican Wanette 2018
28Zack TaylorRepublican Seminole 2017
29Kyle HilbertRepublican Depew 2016
30Mark LawsonRepublican Sapulpa 2016
31Garry MizeRepublican Guthrie 2018
32Kevin WallaceRepublican Wellston 2014
33John TalleyRepublican Cushing 2018
34Trish RansonDemocratic Stillwater 2018
35Ty BurnsRepublican Morrison 2018
36Sean RobertsRepublican Hominy 2011
37Ken LuttrellRepublican Ponca City 2018
38John PfeifferRepublican Orlando 2014
39Ryan MartinezRepublican Edmond 2016
40Chad CaldwellRepublican Enid 2014
41Denise Crosswhite HaderRepublican Enid 2018
42Cynthia RoeRepublican Purcell 2018
43Jay W. SteagallRepublican Yukon 2018
44 Emily Virgin Democratic Norman 2011
45Merelyn BellDemocratic Norman 2018
46Jacob RosecrantsDemocratic Norman 2017
47Brian HillRepublican Mustang 2018
48Tammy TownleyRepublican Ardmore 2018
49Tommy HardinRepublican Madill 2011
50Marcus McEntireRepublican Duncan 2016
51Brad BolesRepublican Marlow 2018
52Charles OrtegaRepublican Altus 2009
53Mark McBrideRepublican Moore 2013
54Kevin WestRepublican Moore 2016
55Todd RussRepublican Cordell 2009 [24]
56David L. PerrymanDemocratic Chickasha 2013
57Harold WrightRepublican Weatherford 2009
58Carl NewtonRepublican Woodward 2016
59Mike SandersRepublican Kingfisher 2008
60Rhonda BakerRepublican Balko 2016
61Kenton PatzkowskyRepublican Yukon 2018
62Daniel PaeRepublican Lawton 2018
63Trey CaldwellRepublican Grandfield 2018
64Rande WorthenRepublican Lawton 2016
65Toni HasenbeckRepublican Devol 2018
66Jadine NollanRepublican Sand Springs 2011
67Jeff BoatmanRepublican Tulsa 2018
68Lonnie SimsRepublican Tulsa 2018
69Sheila DillsRepublican Jenks 2018
70Carol BushRepublican Tulsa 2016
71Denise BrewerDemocratic Tulsa 2018
72Monroe NicholsDemocratic Tulsa 2016
73Regina GoodwinDemocratic Tulsa 2015
74Mark VancurenRepublican Owasso 2018
75T.J. MartiRepublican Tulsa 2018
76Ross FordRepublican Broken Arrow 2017
77John WaldronDemocratic Tulsa 2018
78Meloyde BlancettDemocratic Tulsa 2016
79Melissa ProvenzanoDemocratic Tulsa 2018
80Stan MayRepublican Broken Arrow 2018
81Mike OsburnRepublican Edmond 2016
82Nicole MillerRepublican Oklahoma City 2018
83Chelsey BranhamDemocratic Edmond 2018
84Tammy WestRepublican Bethany 2016
85Cyndi MunsonDemocratic Oklahoma City 2015
86David HardinRepublican Stilwell 2018
87Collin WalkeDemocratic Oklahoma City 2016
88Jason DunningtonDemocratic Oklahoma City 2014
89Shane StoneDemocratic Oklahoma City 2014
90Jon EcholsRepublican Oklahoma City 2013
91Chris KannadyRepublican Oklahoma City 2014
92Forrest BennettDemocratic Oklahoma City 2016
93 Mickey Dollens Democratic Oklahoma City 2016
94Andy FugateDemocratic Oklahoma City 2018
95Kelly AlbrightDemocratic Midwest City 2018
96 Lewis H. Moore Republican Arcadia 2009
97Jason LoweDemocratic Oklahoma City 2016
98Dean DavisRepublican Broken Arrow 2018
99Ajay PittmanDemocratic Oklahoma City 2018
100Marilyn StarkRepublican Oklahoma City 2018
101Robert MangerRepublican Choctaw 2018

Notable past members

Organization

Leadership in the state House begins two leaders elected by their fellow lawmakers - the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Speaker Pro Tempore. [1] Party caucuses play a major role in this process by nominating candidates for key leadership positions. [25]

After a speaker assumes office, he or she appoints a majority floor leader and a majority whip. The majority floor leader sets the floor calendar during session. [26] The duties of the majority whip are to assist the floor leader, ensure member attendance, count votes, and communicate the majority position on issues. [26]

The speaker also names assistant floor leaders, assistant whips, and caucus officers. Additionally, the minority party caucus elects a minority leader. The minority leader develops caucus positions, negotiates with the majority party caucus, and directs minority caucus activities on the chamber floor. [26]

The speaker appoints committee and subcommittee chairs and vice chairs. [1] The majority floor leader selects an informal team that assists with management of legislation on the House Floor. [1]

As of November 2018, The Oklahoma House of Representatives has 22 committees and 10 subcommittees. [27]

A non-partisan staff provides professional services for members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives in addition to the Oklahoma Legislative Service Bureau. Individual members are also assisted by partisan staff members, and those in leadership positions have additional partisan staff. [2] Committees are staffed primarily by research, fiscal and legal staff. The current Clerk of the House is Jan B. Harrison. [28]

Membership

A.C. Hamlin, the first black member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. AC Hailin.jpg
A.C. Hamlin, the first black member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Terms and qualifications

In order to file for election to the Oklahoma House of Representatives, one must be 21 years of age at the time of their election and a qualified elector and resident of their legislative district. [29] Officers of the United States or state government and individuals who have been adjudged guilty of a felony are not eligible to election to the Oklahoma Legislature. If a member of the Oklahoma Legislature is expelled for corruption, they are not eligible to return to legislative office. [30]

State representatives serve a two-year term and are limited to six terms or 12 years. No member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives can serve more than 12 years in the Oklahoma Legislature. A term-limited member can not run for election to the Senate as both Representative terms and Senate terms are added together in determining the total number of Legislative years in office. [31]

Salaries and benefits

Members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives receive $38,400 in annual pay. [32] The Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives receives $56,332 in annual pay. The Speaker Pro Tempore, minority leader and appropriations chair receive $50,764 in annual pay. [32] Pay is set by a nine-member state board appointed by the governor, Speaker, and President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate. [32]

State legislators can seek reimbursement for expenses related to meals, lodging, and travel related to their duties at any point during the year. They have access to benefits, including health and life insurance and retirement savings plans. [32]

Current makeup

As of November 2018, members of the Republican Party hold a supermajority in the House, or three-fourths seats. There are 77 Republicans and 24 Democrats. [33]

Representation

Originally, the House was apportioned according to a method spelled out in the state constitution, in which each county formed a legislative district. Representation was determined by taking the total population of the state, according to the most recent federal census, and that number was divided by one hundred, with the quotient equaling one ratio. Counties having a population less than one full ratio received one Representative; every county containing an entire ratio but less than two ratios was to be assigned two Representatives; every county containing a population of two entire ratios but less than three ratios was to be assigned three Representatives; and every county containing a population of three entire ratios but less than four ratios was to be assigned four Representatives. After the first four Representatives, a county was to qualify for additional representation on the basis of two whole ratios of population for each additional Representative.

In 1964, the United States Supreme Court ruled that this method violated the federal constitution, as it resulted in districts having wildly different populations. State lawmakers implemented a new method that continues to be used today. The Oklahoma House of Representatives must draw new district boundaries within 90 days of the latest Federal Decennial Census. Under the holding of Reynolds v. Sims , 377 U.S. 533 (1964) districts must be apportioned within a five percent margin of the average target size district as determined by the U.S. Census population figures divided by the one hundred and one districts. This allows for certain districts to be slightly smaller or larger than others. The Oklahoma House of Representatives draws its own maps of its district lines, which are subject to the approval of both the state senate and the governor. Should the redistricting not occur in the time limits prescribed by law, the lines are determined by a panel of five statewide elected officials.

Leadership

As of January 3, 2017, Charles A. McCall is serving his first term as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He was first chosen May 2, 2016, by the House Republican Caucus as Speaker-designate for the 2017-2018 term. [34] Harold Wright, of Weatherford, Oklahoma, was chosen as Speaker Pro Tempore elect on January 3, 2017. Terry O'Donnell serves as the Majority Whip.

As of 2018, Emily Virgin serves as minority leader, David Perryman serves as minority floor leader, and Cyndi Munson is the minority caucus chair.

Kevin Wallace serves as the chairman of the Appropriations and Budget Committee.

Past composition of the House of Representatives

See also

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  21. 1 2 3 4 5 "Course of Bills", Oklahoma House of Representatives (accessed April 19, 2013)
  22. Kirkpatrick, Samuel A. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1978). The Legislative Process in Oklahoma, p. 109-111. ISBN   0-8061-1421-5
  23. Johnny Tadlock (D-01) switches affiliation from Democrat to Republican
  24. Sworn in Oct. 21, 2009, after special election
  25. "Legislative Organization," Inside the Legislative Process, National Conference of State Legislatures. (accessed January 3, 2014)
  26. 1 2 3 "Legislative Organization: Legislative Leaders," Inside the Legislative Process, National Conference of State Legislatures. (accessed January 3, 2014)
  27. , (accessed January 17, 2017).
  28. "Legislative Committee Structure and Staffing Patterns," Southern Legislative Conference. (accessed January 3, 2014)
  29. Article V, Section 17: Age - Qualified electors - Residents, Constitution of the State of Oklahoma at Oklahoma Legal Research System, University of Oklahoma College of Law (accessed May 3, 2010).
  30. Section V-19: Expelled member ineligible - Punishment not to bar indictment, Constitution of the State of Oklahoma at Oklahoma Legal Research System, University of Oklahoma College of Law (accessed May 3, 2010).
  31. Section V-17A: Limitation of time served in the Legislature, Constitution of the State of Oklahoma at Oklahoma Legal Research System, University of Oklahoma College of Law (accessed May 3, 2010).
  32. 1 2 3 4 2013 Legislative Manual, Oklahoma House of Representatives, p. 24. (accessed May 16, 2013)
  33. "Membership". Oklahoma House of Representatives. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  34. Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Coordinates: 35°29′32″N97°30′12″W / 35.49222°N 97.50333°W / 35.49222; -97.50333