OPINION

Final push to approve legislation has begun

Rep. Ken Luttrell

The end of session is coming soon and the final push to pass bills out of the Legislature and onto the governor's desk has begun. All of the bills I authored have been signed with the exception of a license plate bill that is still being worked on. I wanted to provide highlights on two other important bills passed last week.

A House bill, amended in the state Senate, that will prohibit Oklahoma public schools, colleges and universities from incorporating certain messages about sex and race into any course instruction earned final passage in the House. The bill also will prohibit requiring mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling in the schools. House Bill 1775 would prohibit the curriculum known as “Critical Race Theory” from being taught in Oklahoma classrooms. The bill specifically states that no teacher, administrator or other employee of a school district, charter school or virtual charter school shall require or make part of a course the following concepts:

• one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;

• an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;

• an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;

• members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;

• an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;

• an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;

• any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or

• meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.

HB 1775 also specifies that no enrolled student of an institution of higher education within the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education shall be required to engage in any form of mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling. Voluntary counseling is not prohibited.

A bill that is of special interest to our district is House Bill 2382. This bill, which was signed by Gov. Stitt last week, defines a street-legal utility vehicle as well as authorizes a street-legal utility vehicle to be registered as a motor vehicle and operated on roadways. Many people in our district have vehicles that would have been prohibited from use on roadways but for this bill. I’m glad to see it has been signed and can begin to help the citizens of the district.  

That’s it for this week. If I can help you with anything, feel free to call my Capitol office at 405-557-7355 or email me at ken.luttrell@okhouse.gov.