The first deadline for the 2022 session of the Oklahoma Legislature was recently reached. It was the deadline by which lawmakers were required to submit ideas for the myriad of bills they expect to introduce.
The 2022 session begins February 7 as senators and state officials return to Capitol Hill to begin working on behalf of the Oklahoman. As a former lawmaker, I can tell you one thing: they cannot do it alone. Lawmakers need our help. They need to hear our voices as they flip through hundreds of bills – some good, some bad.
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) worked with several lawmakers to propose legislation on the ideas presented at our annual fall forum. We are extremely grateful to the policymakers who have agreed to work with us and our advocates to bring forward changes to state law to improve the lives of children.
I want to encourage you to be creative in finding solutions. We need innovative ideas to improve the conditions and circumstances facing Oklahoma families. But, an idea is just that unless it is put into action. To do this, we need lawyers ready to communicate with elected officials.
Far too many don’t know how to start shaping ideas for potential new laws and how to work to put those ideas into action. I would like to invite you to participate in the OICA 2022 Legislative Learning Lab.
The Lab is a four-day conference that will bring together some of the foremost experts in governance, history and the complex nuances of the legislative process. This year, we’ll be featuring the first three days on Zoom so people can participate from the comfort of their home or office. For the final day, attendees will either attend Oklahoma City in person or continue to participate on Zoom. To register, go to https://oica.org/event/2022-legislative-learning-lab/. The cost for virtual participation is $ 25 for four days or $ 50 to participate online for the first three days and attend in person on the last day.
The Legislative Learning Lab will help any advocate. As an informed advocate, you will communicate effectively with legislators with confidence, possessing a solid knowledge base on the issues and the legislative process. Would you like to take advantage of this unique opportunity? We hope to see you there!
Joe Dorman is executive director of the Oklahoma Children’s Advocate Institute.