Oklahoma lawmakers consider bill that would reverse part of voter-approved SQ 780

The Oklahoma Legislature is considering a bill that would raise the threshold of felony theft from $500 back up to $1,000.

That threshold was lowered in 2016 when Oklahoma voters passed State Question 780, which reclassified simple drug possession and some property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

Senate Bill 1450 would also create a whole new crime called organized retail theft and creates a task force to allow the attorney general to investigate those crimes.

Representative John George from Newalla, who co-authored the bill, said he’s spoken to constituents about SQ 780.

“I didn’t find a single person who actually understood what they were voting for.” Rep. George said during a House Rules Committee meeting.

That committee passed the bill 5-2.

One of the two opponents was Representative Andy Fugate from Oklahoma City.

“The reason I’m voting no on this bill is, frankly, I don’t believe we should be overriding the will of the people.” Fugate said.

The state Senate passed SB 1450 in March by a vote of 40-5.

It now moves on to the full House.





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