Bill Changing Felony Classification System Moves to Senate
A bill that could make major changes to Oklahoma's criminal code was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Wednesday. Rep. Mike Osburn, R-Edmond, has been working with various stakeholders on House Bill 1792 to organize the 1,100 felonies in Oklahoma's criminal code into standard offense classes with tiered sentence lengths and enhancements based on the severity of the crimes. "We are working with stakeholders on all sides of this issue to make sure this legislation moves the needle in a positive way," Osburn said. "It is important that the resulting system is constructive and workable for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges while making a meaningful impact on the state's prison population. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to improve the safety of our neighborhoods while saving taxpayer dollars." Osburn said the current language is not final, but the bill had to be approved by the House by the March 23 deadline in order to remain active for the legislative session. The felony classification system will take the next steps in the work begun by the Criminal Justice Reclassification Coordination Council. The Council was created by the Legislature in 2018 to review the criminal code and propose a felony classification system that would strengthen public safety while reducing or holding constant the size of the prison population. While the measure passed the House 71-19, it passed with its title off to allow for future amendments and a second House vote on the updated bill. HB1792 moves to the Senate for consideration as work continues.