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Capitol Insider: Latest News on Food Insecurity Policy & Advocacy (June 2024)

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy


State Legislative Updates

The Oklahoma Legislature adjourned from regular session on May 30, 2024, one day before constitutionally required. Since then, the Governor signed the budget and many additional bills into law. While the legislative session is over, there were several missed opportunities to invest in improving food security for Oklahomans. We will continue our work in the interim to build a better understanding of the issues for state legislators.

Election Update

As a nonprofit, we don’t directly participate in elections, but we still closely track the results so we can better understand the makeup of the incoming legislators.

The June 18 primary election included several upsets for incumbents, particularly in Senate races. Many races came down to single digits to decide the winner. This serves as a good reminder about the importance of voting and that your vote matters.

Notable election results:

  • Senate District (SD) 11 (Tulsa) – Current House member Rep. Regina Goodwin wins. No candidates filed in other parties so there will be no additional elections for this seat and Rep. Goodwin is now Senator-elect Goodwin.
  • SD 13 (Ada) – Senate Pro Tempore Designate Greg McCortney lost to Jonathan Wingard. The result of this race means that the Senate will have different leadership in 2025 from what was originally anticipated.  
  • SD 25 (Tulsa) – Current Rep. Jeff Boatman lost to Brian Guthrie.
  • SD 43 (Duncan) – Incumbent Sen. Jessica Garvin lost to Kendal Sacchieri.
  • SD 48 (OKC) – Current OKC City Councilmember Nikki Nice won her election. No candidates filed in other parties so there will be no additional elections for this seat and Councilmember Nice is now Senator-elect Nice.
  • House District (HD) 32 (Chandler) No candidate received over 50% of the vote. This means incumbent and House Budget Chair Rep. Kevin Wallace will go to a runoff against Jim Shaw in August.
  • HD 33 (Stillwater) Incumbent Rep. And Chair of the House Children, Youth, and Family Services, John Talley lost to Molly Jenkins. No candidates filed in other parties so there will be no additional elections for this seat and Molly Jenkins is now Representative-elect Jenkins.

Farm Bill 

To date, House Republicans have released their Farm Bill priority framework and legislative text, Senate Democrats have released their Farm Bill priority framework and a section-by-section summary, and Senate Republicans have now released their Farm Bill priority framework and a section-by-section summary. With this information now publicly-released the chances of a Farm Bill process getting underway this summer are increasing.

Congress has a narrow window to pass this massive legislation – the legislation would need to be passed by both chambers by the end of July, ahead of the August in-district work period. If Congress cannot pass a Farm Bill by the end of July, consideration in September is unlikely as the Federal Budget will take most of lawmakers’ focus. House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders are believed to be in negotiations for the Farm Bill. If they can come to an agreement, July action is likely. If they cannot agree, there is a high chance there will be another short-term Farm Bill extension.

Earlier this month, members of the HFO team joined with other food security advocates from across Oklahoma to meet with our federal delegation on Farm Bill priorities. Read our blog here for more about this advocacy in action.

Federal Budget 

Congress has begun work on the FY 2025 budget, which must be passed by September 30, 2024. One promising policy in the mix is the Child Tax Credit (CTC). During the height of the pandemic, the CTC was temporarily expanded by Congress, helping lift millions of children out of poverty. The CTC expansion currently being considered by Congress would benefit roughly 232,000 Oklahoma children in the first year alone. To help ensure this impactful policy is passed by Congress, contact our US Senators, Senator Lankford and Senator Mullin, and ask them to support the expansion of the Child Tax Credit.

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