Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Capitol Business: Legislature Faces Logjam, Roadblocks and Confusion

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Capitol Business: Legislature Faces Logjam, Roadblocks and Confusion

Article excerpt

Watching, waiting, hurrying, scurrying and huddling best describes what is happening at the state Capitol as the last week of Oklahoma's regular legislative session begins its run down to 5 p.m. this Friday.

It is not an unusual occurrence but frustrates many legislators and interested observers. It is a mixed blessing for lobbyists in their late rush to get legislation amended, passed or killed.

Most of the real work of the Legislature will be culminated in these few days. The success or failure of hundreds of pieces of legislation will be determined in decisions made by Friday. How informed those decisions will be is open to question.

Many of them will be made by small groups of legislators serving as conferees on hundreds of bills assigned to conferences. Only at the last minute, if then, will most of the legislators know what is in the bills on which they are voting.

Last week there were 430 bills consigned. That did not include more than 100 spending bills. Combined, that is 25 percent of all the measures introduced still being processed in the last five days of the session.

Less than 10 bills had been taken up last Wednesday when the House went into session at 9 a.m. and adjourned before noon. The pace picked up a little later in the week as the Legislature met through Friday.

A similar situation occurred in the Senate where the session was recessed to allow work on appropriations measures.

Major issues that have confronted the Legislature all session include lawsuit and workers compensation reform and tax cut proposals, all of which are very controversial. Some may not be resolved.

Expectedly there is talk of a special session. Except possibly for budgetary matters, there is no need for one and it would be a serious mistake. Nothing is to be gained for either of the two reform issues. It only would be a diversionary or delaying tactic. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.