Legislature Leans Heavily On Copy-paste Legislation

By Carmen FormanStaff writer cforman@oklahoman.comThe Oklahoma Legislature has one of the highest rates of introducing and passing copy-paste bills, largely written by conservative and corporate entities pushing similar legislation across the country. Oklahoma’s Legislature is second in the country for introducing and passing so-called "model legislation," according to a two-year investigation by USA Today, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity. In an eight-year span, Oklahoma lawmakers introduced more than 400 pieces of model legislation and passed more than 120 of those bills. Various special interest groups, think tanks and corporate entities write model legislation and the report studied when and where lawmakers copy and pasted those bills into their state legislature. In terms of model bills that were introduced and passed, Oklahoma was second only to the Illinois General Assembly, which passed about 130 copycat bills from 2010 to 2018. Oklahoma’s Legislature was fifth overall for introducing model bills. While lawmakers have copied some liberal-leaning model bills, the vast majority have come from conservative or corporate groups, according to the report. House Minority Leader Emily Virgin called it a lazy way of legislating. “It doesn’t take into account the unique challenges and problems that our state faces and so, when we see copycat legislation like that, oftentimes it’s clearly not customized to what’s going on in Oklahoma,” said Virgin, D-Norman. USA Today, The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity did not release a detailed state-by-state breakdown showing specifically which bills they classified as model legislation.Read more on NewsOK.com

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