State Question 780

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to a receptive audience Thursday when he addressed members of the Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association at Rose State College in Midwest City.

Sessions said law enforcement nationwide is dealing with an increase in the violent crime rate, gangs, the opioid epidemic and threats of terrorism. Sessions says these issues are combined with cultural changes that concern him.

The Oklahoma state House of Representatives furthered a bill Thursday that would roll back part of a state question that was approved by voters in November.

Oklahomans voted in favor of State Questions 780 and 781 last year, which reduced simple drug possession from a felony crime to a misdemeanor.

In debate on the House floor, Republican Representative Tim Downing, R-Purcell, said House Bill 1482 would give district attorneys the discretion to enhance simple drug possession to a felony if it occurs within 1,000 feet of a school

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the $34M revenue failure facing state agencies as well as the $787M budget shortfall facing state lawmakers, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett announces he will not seek a fifth term as leader of the state's capital city and lawmakers fast track a bill to get the state in compliance with the Federal Real ID Act.

This Week in Oklahoma, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a controversy and lawsuit against the newest member of the State Supreme Court, Patrick Wyrick, over discrepancies on his application to the high court, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb announces he's retiring from the Governor's cabinet over a disagreement on extending the state's sales tax to services and Republican Senator Ralph Shortey gets an earful from participants in a town hall he held to talk about his bills which would make changes t

okhouse.gov

A bill that would change some of the criminal justice reforms voters approved in November advances in the legislature.

House Bill 1482 would again make it a felony to possess drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Rep. Tim Downing (R-Purcell) co-authored the bill and says it restores protection for children.

"A person can take heroin on an elementary school playground and do it an unlimited amount of times and essentially pay a ticket for it."

Supporters and opponents of several state questions on the ballot in Oklahoma have spent nearly $3 million to air television ads on the issues ahead of the November election.

Data released Thursday by the Center for Public Integrity show more than 3,800 ads have aired on proposals to impose a 1 percent sales tax for education, restrict oversight of farming and ranching and change the state's alcohol laws and criminal justice system.

Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma’s prisons are crowded, and the state continues to incarcerate offenders at the second- highest rate in the nation, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Two state questions on the November 8 ballot aim to ease both of those strains.  

This week in Oklahoma Politics,  KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about State Question 780 to reclassify certain property and drug crimes as misdemeanors rather than felonies, Donald Trump's slip in the polls and Governor Fallin continues to support the Republican nominee.

The trio also discusses a push by state lawmakers to comply with the Federal Real ID Act after an extension request was denied and Governor Fallin announces changes to her staff.