• Thu. Jun 23rd, 2022

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: What does “Striking Title” mean? | Opinion

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Apr 2, 2022

As the activity of the session continues, I want to take the time to explain one of the most confusing parts of the legislative process: the “striking title”.

The Oklahoma Constitution requires that every bill have a statement at the beginning to briefly summarize the subject of the bill, called a “title”. If the title is “stripped out”, it means that the bill has been amended to remove this introductory definition, which renders the bill unconstitutional.

The removal of the title is done intentionally so that the bill does not become law until it returns to the original chamber for another vote, when its title is added back or “restored”. We struck the title of many House bills before the legislative deadline last week, and bills that pass the Senate will return to the House to be retitled and receive a final vote before they can be sent to the governor’s office.

Most bills passed without a title are expected to have a fiscal impact on the state budget, either positive or negative. We punch the title on these so it’s easier to make changes during the budget process.

However, it sometimes happens that bills with no tax impact have their title also deleted. The author may choose to remove the title if they are still working on the language, but need to push the bill forward to meet deadlines so it doesn’t die. The deletion title allows the bill to proceed through the legislative process while acknowledging that it requires further amendments before final approval.

One of my bills, House Bill 3205, passed the House without its title. This bill has a fiscal impact that is still being worked out with the chairmen of each chamber’s appropriations and budget committees. If the bill passes the Senate, I will reintroduce it to the House and ask that its title be restored before it receives a final vote. This will bring him back into line with the Oklahoma Constitution so he can run for the governor’s office.

When a bill comes into the House without a title, I usually vote to move the bill forward so that the author can continue to work on it. I think it shows respect for my colleagues and helps foster good working relationships and an environment of trust. When the bill returns to the House, I will review any changes made while it was in the Senate before determining how I will vote.

We didn’t have much groundwork this week as the bills we received from the Senate were still assigned to their House Committees, but I was thrilled to have Rebekah Beasley serve as my House Page! Rebekah is a high school student from Cushing. In addition to her duties on the House floor, she has attended a few meetings with me to get a behind-the-scenes look at the role of Representative, as well as help research the legislation I plan to run the ‘next year. She was very energetic and smart, and I’m glad she enjoyed her week at the Capitol!

Before I wrap up, I also want to share information about an upcoming youth camp being hosted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The camp is open to students ages 14-16 who are interested in wildlife law enforcement, fishing, archery, and rifle and shotgun shooting. The deadline to apply is fast approaching on April 15 – you can find details at www.wildlifedepartment.com/education/youth-opp/wildlife-youth-camp.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the legislation. You can contact me at 405-557-7304 or john.talley@okhouse.gov. Thank you for the honor of serving the District 33 home!

Representative John Talley, a Republican, serves District 33 of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Payne counties.