Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Speaker Hickman hits back after Fallin's veto fit

House Speaker Jeff Hickman

Today, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin vetoed 15 House bills, citing frustration that the legislature, and the House in particular, is "avoid[ing] passing meaningful legislation". Specific examples she mentioned included a bond for the Capitol building repairs (conservatives have opposed adding additional debt for the state), and the state budget.

According to the Tulsa World, Fallin said her vetoes "[are] not a one-day deal".

From Pat McGuigan on OklahomaWatchdog: "The vetoed measures touched on such issues as the authority of county commissioners, attempted limits on power of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, expungement of criminal records, sales tax exemptions for veterans and infant vaccinations."

Oklahoma House Speaker Jeff Hickman responded to Governor Fallin with the following statement:

"Governor Fallin developed an aggressive agenda this session to move Oklahoma forward, however moving that agenda through the legislative process requires developing relationships with legislators across the state. The House of Representatives worked hard to pass a personal income tax cut, as Governor Fallin requested, which we delivered to her desk early last week. The House also passed pension reform, a school tornado shelter referendum, and a ban on youth access to e-cigarettes, all which were part of the Governor’s agenda and devoted numerous hours of debate to the Governor’s bill to expand charter-schools statewide.

"The House, for the second time in the three years she has requested it, voted on Governor Fallin’s plan to renovate the Capitol with a bond issue. For the third time, the House has said her plan is not acceptable, yet today the Governor is still calling on members to support her plan.

"The members of this body are closest to the people and have listened to their constituencies on issues such as Common Core, school testing and bond proposals. We know there are serious issues left to resolve and the House intends to work every day, regardless of political rhetoric, to have a successful session for the people of Oklahoma."

From the Edmond Sun:
Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said he didn’t understand why the governor vetoed two of his bills Tuesday that he said were requested directly from her office.

He said one of the bills was designed to save tax dollars by allowing state agencies to better use their purchase card authority.

“The governor is essentially vetoing her own request bill,” Murphey said. “It makes no sense.”

Time will soon tell whether Governor Fallin's fit will continue, and whether the Legislature will simply override here vetoes.

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