Will Rogers Wouldn’t Be Impressed with the Lack of Common Good - March 10, 2013
State Representative David Perryman
Will Rogers once said, “Ancient Rome declined because they had a Senate; now what’s going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House.”
After five full weeks, Will would not be impressed with the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Of the 1,302 bills and joint resolutions filed in the House only 188 have been passed to the Senate and there are only 286 more on General Order that are eligible to be heard on the house floor.
The deadline to pass bills to the Senate is March 14th.
I have seen good bills and bad bills. Many of the bad bills are authored by representatives who have good ideas, but the verbage that they use makes the bill ambiguous or keeps it from doing what they want it to.
Because of my legal background and my experience working with statutes and ordinances, I have had the opportunity on several occaisions to work with members of both parties to make their bills better. I am very happy to assist in that regard.
Some of the good Bills that remain to be heard and must pass out of the House before March 14 are:
Rep. Curtis McDaniel’s HB1503 to prohibit drivers from texting while operating a motor vehicle.
Rep. Joe Dorman’s HB2228, the Protection against Pedophiles Act.
Rep. David Derby’s HB2100 for the regulation of prescription benefit managers.
Rep. Richard Morrisette’s HB1515 to control cedar trees across Oklahoma.
Rep. John Enns HB1316 to allow for a donation option on an Oklahoma Tax Return
There are however many bills that are simply bad to the bone. There are bills that make education less affordable. There are bills that are bad for business. There are bills that are bad for employees. There are bills that appear to have been authored out of spite.
An example of a bad Bill is HB1474 that attempts to move the regulation of LP gas and LP gas dealers to the Corporation Commission.
Many of the Bills contain language that may change at any time. During the committee phase, when Bills were first being heard, there were a number of Committee Substitutes that contained amendments that substantially changed the intent of the Bill.
On the House Floor, there are often Floor Amendments made that also have the potential to change the effect of the Bill. Floor Amendments, including the striking of the title on Bills make them very difficult to analyze and often a decision on whether to vote yes or no is made at the last minute after a quick reading of the final draft.
My two bills that remain on the floor agenda deal with Fire Protection Districts and Annexation.
As I said when I ran for office, I will work with members of both parties and I have done that repeatedly. I will continue to do so and will always vote in the best interest of House District 56.
You can always keep up with live streaming audio and video of proceedings on the floor of the House of Representatives at www.okhouse.gov. That same link will also allow you to listen to audio of all committee proceedings.
Hopefully Will Rogers observation will not come to fruition in Oklahoma this session.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your State Representative. If there is ever anything that I can do to assist you, please call me at 405-557-7401 or eMail me at David.Perryman@okhouse.gov
I look forward to seeing you soon.