The Pryor Times

Opinion

May 8, 2014

Veto pen

PRYOR, OK — “The pen is the tongue of the mind.” ~Horace

House attention last week was focused on conference committees and on the slew of bills the governor vetoed. Consequently, the House started its Wednesday afternoon session with acceptance and rejection of Senate amendments to several House bills, and ended with the first successful override vote in the House on one of Governor Fallin’s vetoes.

Vetoed Legislation

Gov. Fallin emptied her ink pen last Tuesday, vetoing 15 House measures she described as redundant, inconsequential, or bad public policy. While she characterized all of the vetoed bills in a negative light, some did address serious concerns.

House Bill 3417 was an important bill that passed both the House and the Senate with no dissenting votes. It contained legislation to protect the civil rights of citizens by preventing the outsourcing of law enforcement duties to people or companies that do not hold commissions in Oklahoma or are not CLEET certified.

 House Bill 2609 was legislation to help college students and other persons clear their record that might interfere with them obtaining a job or supporting their family. The bill would have cut in half the amount of time that must elapse before a person charged with a low-level misdemeanor can file to have his/her criminal record erased: from two years after completion of the deferred sentence, to one year.

 House Bill 3457 was a bill to enable counties and municipalities to contract with each other for better efficiency on joint projects such as road and street improvements. House Bill 3158 relates to restricted driver’s licenses for applicants under the age of 18. Currently the application must contain a number of signatures, including the notarized signature of a parent or guardian. This bill would allow the parent or guardian to sign an alternative affidavit in the event it is not possible for the parent to sign the original application.

The House did vote to override one of the governor’s vetoes.            

House Bill 2461, would direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to provide, within 15 days, certification required by federal regulation for the transfer or manufacture of firearms. It also would direct the ATF to issue written notice when denying certification, and to state the reason(s) for the denial.

With no discussion and no debate, the House responded to the veto with a bipartisan 86-3 vote. Concurrence from two-thirds of the 101 House members, or 68 votes, is required to override a veto. The override motion now moves to the Senate, which may or may not consider it. A vote to override a veto can be taken at any time while the Legislature is still in session. HB 2461, which was on the National Rifle Association agenda, sailed through the House, 92-1, on March 11, and cleared the Senate unopposed, 46-0, on April 22, before it was delivered to the governor.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or if I can be of any other assistance. You may reach me by calling 1-800-522-8502, emailing to chuck.hoskin@okhouse.gov; or writing to me at Representative Chuck Hoskin, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 509, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

 

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