The Oklahoma House and Senate returns to session tomorrow with the introduction of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature, or as we call it in the local media, clickbait and traffic season.
As part of the proceedings, the House and Senate both will adopt rules to govern their operations and procedures. Outside of some minor variations, these rules generally remain the same each year, and cover in great legal detail some very yawn-inducing topics like how and when legislation is introduced, who gets to serve on committees, or when it's okay to accept a lobbyist bribe. You know, mundane Oklahoma government stuff.
This year, however, a new provision has snuck its way into both the House and Senate rulebook. Dubbed the McDugle Rule by Capitol insiders, it will prohibit lawmakers from streaming live video from the House or Senate chambers while they are in session. Check it out:
Great idea, huh? When I think of ways to improve the Oklahoma legislature, I always put "Making it a little less convenient for Oklahomans to observe the legislative process and interact with lawmakers" at the top of the list.
That being said, one drawback of the rule is that it will stop lawmakers from making asses of themselves on social media like this:
That sucks. Here at The Lost Ogle we depend upon stupid decisions by lawmakers to get by. Fortunately, the rule will not stop high school students from recording lawmakers making asses of themselves...
I should also note that there appears to be nothing in the rulebooks that addresses sexual harassment or any of the other scandals that have rocked the capitol over the years. At least that's still good for our business!