Representative Terry O'Donnell

Hi, I'm Terry O'Donnell and I represent the people of Oklahoma's 23rd District.



Majority Whip

59th Legislature

News & Announcements

Apr 17, 2024
Recent Posts

House Passes Bill to Remove Unlawful Occupants

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, this week passed legislation in the House that would create a procedure for the removal of unlawful occupants of property. Senate Bill 1994 would allow a property owner to request the sheriff of a county in which the property is located to immediately remove a person or persons unlawfully occupying real property if certain conditions are met. Ford, along with co-authors Reps. Terry O'Donnell, R-Catoosa, and Rande Worthen, R-Lawton, and House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, issued a joint statement about the importance of the bill. "Property owners throughout our state are being inundated with illegal occupancy," the lawmakers said. "This is exacerbated by the number of people coming across our Southern border illegally, property thefts through methods such as unlawful title changes, or just people moving a trailer onto someone else's land or moving into someone's home while they're on vacation and refusing to leave. Oklahoma is a property rights state, and we are working with our sheriffs and others to identify and stop this type of crime and to advocate for the rights of our property owners. Private property ownership is one of the very foundations of our constitutional system of government and protects an individual's ability to prosper and participate in the free market and in our representative form of government. This legislation is important to ensuring this fundamental right is protected."  Ford explained that currently such matters are treated through civil process, and law enforcement are reluctant to get involved. This forces private property owners to hire an attorney, and the process often drags out for lengthy periods. Worthen pointed out the measure does not allow anyone in a landlord-tenant relationship to circumvent the Landlord-Tenant Act. It only applies to someone who is occupying private property and refusing to leave when asked. SB1994 would create a form for the property owner to submit to their county sheriff. Once verified, the sheriff must serve a notice to immediately vacate on all unlawful occupants. If appropriate, the sheriff may arrest any person found on the property for trespass, outstanding warrants or any other legal cause. The sheriff is entitled to the fee for service of the notice. The measure also would create a crime for someone unlawfully detaining or occupying or trespassing upon a property and who intentionally damages the dwelling in an amount of greater than $1,000. Those found guilty would receive a felony punishable by up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Any person who presents a false document purporting to be a valid lease agreement, deed, or other instrument conveying real property rights would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. The measure states that these provisions are not to be used to circumvent any rights or laws governing the landlord tenant relationship. Any person wrongfully removed may bring a civil cause of action. SB1994 passed the House with a vote of 77-16. The amended bill now returns to the Senate for final consideration. 

Mar 20, 2023
Recent Posts

Bill Protecting State Pensions from ESG Policies Passes House

O KLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Terry O'Donnell, R-Catoosa, today passed a bill in the House designed to continue protections of state pension funds from strategies that would be harmful to the state's energy industry. House Bill 2547 would prevent any state-run pension fund from delegating its votes by proxy to entities that do not subscribe to Oklahoma's investment strategy as outlined in the measure. The bill is a follow-up to legislation co-authored by O'Donnell last year that restricts the investment of Oklahoma pension funds by firms that adopt strategies akin to Environmental Social Governance (ESG). "ESG policies are clearly anti-fossil fuel and are driven by political ideology and not fiduciary prudency," O'Donnell said. "In Oklahoma, the fossil fuel industry employees thousands of people and contributes mightily to our state's economy. To invest state pension funds in companies that actively work against this industry would be folly. This bill simply takes what was previously enacted in Oklahoma down to the proxy level to ensure those voting on behalf of state investments do so in keeping with our policies." HB 2547 would prohibit governmental entities from relying on voting guidance from a company that is classified as a restricted financial institution by the State Treasurer. The measure expands on House Bill 2034, the Energy Discrimination Elimination Act of 2022, which requires the state treasurer to maintain and provide to each state governmental entity a list of financial companies that boycott energy companies. That bill further requires state governmental entities to rid themselves of assets of a financial company that boycotts energy companies. HB 2547 would require all investment decisions by or on behalf of a governmental entity to be determined solely on pecuniary factors – factors that a fiduciary prudently determines are expected to have a material effect on the risk or return of an investment. ESG factors, therefore, would be disallowed. Also on Monday, O'Donnell passed HB2542, which would add hydrogen to the list of fuels that would qualify for an existing income tax credit for investments in qualified clean-burning motor vehicles.  O'Donnell said even while state leaders continue to support the fossil fuel industry this doesn't preclude exploration of alternative energy sources as a way to broaden and diversify the state's energy portfolio. Both bills now move to the state Senate where they are authored by Sen. Tom Woods, R-Westville.

Feb 22, 2023
Recent Posts

Bill Protecting K-5 Students from Sexual Content Passes Committee

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Terry O'Donnell, R-Catoosa, today passed a bill in the House Common Education Committee that would prohibit classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-5. Any classroom instruction on these topics in grades 6-12 must be age appropriate for students. "This speaks directly to the heart of a parent's fundamental right to have a say over the sex education their child receives in school," O'Donnell said. "Parents are more in tune with their child than any other person, and they alone should be having these discussions with their children at these young ages." House Bill 2546 specifies that classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity shall not occur in kindergarten through grade five or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students. O'Donnell said other states are pursuing similar legislation and it has the support of parents. His bill does not prohibit sex education courses in older grades, but parents do have the option of opting out their child from such instruction. HB 2546 is now eligible to be considered by the full House