Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Republicans Air Frustration over Term `Legislators'

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Republicans Air Frustration over Term `Legislators'

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter

State House Republicans don't want to be called "legislators" because the term doesn't distinguish them from the Democrats.

In a news release Tuesday, House Minority Leader Larry Ferguson, R-Cleveland, said it was "unfortunate many stories in various press releases lump all of us in one category as members of the Legislature.

"They've been loose with their terms," he said. "Not every House members is in agreement with the special session or all that is happening between the Legislature and Gov. David Walters."

Among other news stories, Ferguson cited The Journal Record's story which stated: "Feuding between Gov. David Walters and the Oklahoma Legislature escalated Monday when lawmakers called themselves into a special session for the first time in state history."

Many of the Republicans were against a special session and believe the Democratic leadership is circumventing the will of the people, Ferguson said.

The session, called on Monday by a petition of a majority of the members of the Legislature, began that day and will run until it is adjourned by legislative leaders. No Republicans signed the petitions in either the Senate or the House. The special session will be recessed on Friday, as the regular session ends at the close of the business day. Purpose of having a special session pending is to have an opportunity to override any gubernatorial vetoes of bills.

If Walters vetoes some bills by not signing them after the regular session ends, the lawmakers will enact copies of those bills in their special session, and send them to the governor again.

"It is wrong for the Oklahoma Legislature to call itself into special session simply to pass legislation that has already passed in regular session," said Rep. Grover Campbell, R-Owasso.

"It is not the governor's fault that the Legislature did not complete its work in a timely or professional manner. The call for a special session is just an attempt to circumvent provisions of the Constitution which limit the number of days the Legislature can meet. …

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