How Many Bills Become Law?

How Many Bills Become Law? A Look at the Numbers

Although the first day of the 58th Oklahoma Legislative Session does not officially convene until Feb. 1, lawmakers, special interest groups, and concerned citizens have been hard at work all offseason brainstorming, drafting and pitching legislative proposals. The final deadline to turn these legislative ideas into official bills is Jan.21, 2021. 

This January deadline has come and gone, and more than 3,000 bills have been filed; 3,000 plus ideas that could potentially pass through both the House and Senate and land on the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

But what exactly are the chances that one of these 3,000 bills is signed into law? We wondered the same thing… And decided to find out! 

First, we looked at some past data. 

Figure 1

According to the trends in Figure 1, the chances that a bill in Oklahoma becomes state law is slightly less than 1-in-5 — or 17%. This is not exactly a high pass rate; but, then again, 17% of 3,000 is not exactly a small number either. 

If previous trends hold true, we can expect that more than 500 bills filed this session will be signed into law by the end of May. 

Of course, there are a number of variables that we did not account for that can affect bill passage — like a pandemic! This year, there are several bills that were refiled that failed last year due to COVID-19 disruptions. It will be interesting to see if more bills are passed this Session than usual due to the disruptions last year. 

But, I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see! 

Figure 2

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