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Several bills to watch as Oklahoma legislative session begins

The Oklahoma capitol is seen. (KOKH/FILE)
The Oklahoma capitol is seen. (KOKH/FILE)
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Oklahoma lawmakers are preparing for the start of the 2022 regular legislative session.

It kicks off with Governor Kevin Stitt's State of the State address at noon on Monday, where he will talk about some of his top priorities.

Lawmakers filed thousands of bills to be considered.

Some could be considered a waste of time, others are meant to impact Oklahomans in their day-to-day lives.

Legislators from both sides of the aisle are hoping to end the state's grocery sales tax, which is 4.5%.

"It's looking like to the tune of at least up to $250 million that stay in the pockets of Oklahoma families," said State Representative Melissa Provenzano. "And that gives you more buying power at the grocery store so you can make your dollars stretch farther."

While that's an issue most lawmakers stand together on, deciding what should be taught in schools is driving them apart.

State Senator Rob Standridge filed multiple education-related bills this session.

One of them would block school libraries from having books on sex, sexual preference, or gender identity if a parent asked for its removal.

"School is not the right place," Standridge told KOKH. "If children and parents want to do those things, they need to do it proactively on their own."

Many lawmakers have written bills they say is meant to give Oklahomans choice.

State Senator Nathan Dahm filed a bill that would allow unproven COVID-19 treatments to be sold over the counter despite warnings from doctors.

"I wanted to ensure that if we are addressing this disease that we are looking at all possible options," Dahm told NewsChannel 8 in January 2022.

Dahm has filed several other bills that have made headlines.

That includes a bill meant to protect some of those involved with the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, by preventing political prisoners from being transported through Oklahoma.

When the bill was filed, Oklahoma Democratic chair Alicia Andrews believes bills like that are a waste of taxpayers' time.

"I don't know that he takes the legislative process as seriously as he should," Andrews told NewsChannel 8 in January 2022. "It feels like he releases bills or writes bills in order just to get headlines."

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