March 2, 2012
Last legislative session, Rep. Charles Key offered an Amendment to the legislative rules (dubbed the “Open Government Rule”) which provided that all of our elected representatives would get a hearing on a bill if requested. The amendment failed after leadership left the vote open for a very long time so that they could “whip” recalcitrant house members into switching their Yay votes to Nay votes. The measure thus failed
The problem: Bills are assigned to committees whose chairmen exercise dictatorial control over whether a bill gets a fair hearing. Without discussion or vote, chairmen can arbitrarily kill any legislation they choose.
If a legislator is unable to get his or her bill heard, then representative government is essentially dead. Many good bills never get a fair hearing and recorded vote because the committee chairman chooses not to hear them. Legislators are able to avoid taking a public position on difficult issues. The people are the losers.
The solution is the Open Government Rule: The House and Senate need to change their rules to assure that every bill that a legislator wants heard gets a fair hearing in committee and recorded vote. And every bill that passes committee gets a fair hearing and recorded vote on the floor.
This rule change will assure that the people, through their representatives, get a fair hearing for their ideas. Just as important, the people will be able to hold their representatives accountable. No longer will politicians be able to say one thing while doing something else.
One More Chance – The Discharge Petition
House rules allow for discharge petitions as a means to get a bill brought out of a committee for a vote on the House floor. We need the signatures of 66 House members to get HR 1004 (read HR1004) discharged from committee and on the House floor for a vote.
Right now we have 45 signatures but we need a minimum of 66 signatures. That means we need 21 more signatures in order to get HR 1004 to the floor for a vote.
Your help is needed!
On Wednesday March 7, 2012, grassroots activists from across Oklahoma interested in ensuring transparent and representative government throughout the entire legislative process will meet for a petition drive for HR 1004 at the Oklahoma State Capitol at 9 am.
RSVP on Facebook! Oklahoma Action Alert – HR 1004 Discharge Petition Drive
We will gather on the first floor rotunda and then go door to door giving our Red List legislators an opportunity to sign the discharge petition. The Media will be present to cover this effort so make sure you look sharp!
Here are the score cards.
he names of legislators in GREEN have already signed the petition. Thank these legislators!
The names of legislators in RED have not yet signed the petition. These are the ones we will be asking for their signature on Wednesday March 7th
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org