history of the Oklahoma Legislature
The Oklahoma Legislature begins its annual regular session at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City on the first Monday in February. (Michael Duncan)

At any given moment while covering the Oklahoma Legislature, I feel like I have a good grasp on what is happening and what has happened recently.

But as I enter my fifth consecutive session paying close attention to the machinations of the State Capitol, I find myself sometimes straining to recall specific timelines and events in the history of the Oklahoma Legislature, even if I witnessed them only a couple of sessions earlier. Trying to access information quickly about the Oklahoma Legislature’s antiquities has been even harder.

As a result, in 2020 I started to build a new NonDoc page chronicling past sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature. Today, that page is live on our site.

While only the past four years — meaning the past two Legislatures — are summarized currently, it is my hope that we can find the time and resources to add more entries on a somewhat regular basis.

There are a few things worth noting about the page. Hyperlinks within the page will take you to specific bills or to articles from NonDoc and other media who have reported on the events referenced. And if you’re not into the whole brevity thing, official House and Senate reports on each session are linked near the top of every section.

You can also now find NonDoc’s legislative coverage organized by session at the following pages:

Of course, if we are missing a specific major policy change in Oklahoma legislative history that you think we should include, email me with the details. Be sure to send hyperlinks to related records and/or bill numbers, please.

Before you go check out our new page about the history of the Oklahoma Legislature, let me say thank you for supporting independent media in Oklahoma, and not just NonDoc. Chronicling the first draft (and sometimes the only draft) of history can be difficult. The Frontier recently launched a project to collect the stories of Oklahomans who have died from COVID-19. The Frontier also tracks police shootings in Oklahoma, and Oklahoma Watch posts a variety of state data sets for public review.

Lastly, don’t forget to bookmark or visit NonDoc’s public resource pages for easy access to local government entities.