Echols and Dunnington Coauthor Bill to Make SQ 780 Retroactive
OKLAHOMA CITY – Majority Leader Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, and State. Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City, filed legislation today that would make State Question 780 retroactive.
House Bill 1269 would provide post-conviction relief to Oklahomans whose convictions took place prior to State Question 780 passing but would have been affected had SQ780 been in place.
“It is time for Oklahoma to get out of the business of arresting and prosecuting individuals afflicted by drug addiction,” Dunnington said. “We have Oklahomans that are labeled as felons, and their crimes would be legal or a much lesser crime today. These folks are disenfranchised, and their families are suffering. This legislation seeks to heal these wounds and continue Oklahoma down the road of responsible criminal justice reform.”
Dunnington and Echols, who have worked together on bipartisan legislation in the past, see this bill as a chance for lawmakers to come together and do what is best for Oklahoma.
“The people of Oklahoma have spoken loud and clear on the issue of criminal justice reform,” Echols said. “I look forward to working with members of both parties to find not Democratic or Republican solutions, but Oklahoma solutions to the issues facing this state. This bill will be a great step in that direction.”
Minority Leader Issues Statement in Support of HB1269
OKLAHOMA CITY – House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, released the following statement today in support of House Bill 1269 – legislation that would make State Question 780 retroactive:
“I commend and applaud Majority Leader Jon Echols and Representative Jason Dunnington for their leadership on this important issue,” Virgin said. “Our criminal justice system should reform lives not ruin them. This legislation gives new hope to Oklahomans whose lives have been destroyed for crimes that would be a misdemeanor today.
“I am proud to support this legislation, and I encourage the Speaker, leadership in the Senate and the Governor to stand with the hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans demanding we act on criminal justice reform. Passing this bipartisan legislation at the beginning of session would be a great signal to all of Oklahoma that this government is ready to come together to meet Oklahoma’s problems.”