The Norman Transcript

State/Region

March 24, 2013

Oklahoma legislators to increase tempo in week ahead

OKLAHOMA CITY — Last week brought few bills and even fewer votes in the Oklahoma Capitol, but both the House and Senate are set to ratchet up the legislative tempo this coming week.

The pause — informally dubbed “spring break” by many around the Capitol — was a kind of political reset, as proposals that have cleared the chamber they started in now have moved over to the other, where members may never have seen them before.

“Basically it was sit down, read the bills, try to get another opinion,” said Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa. “We aren’t really familiar with these House bills. So many of them passed in the last week of session for them.”

The leisurely approval pace is also set to change this week, with 25 House and Senate committees set to pore through almost 170 bills by Wednesday. Among them are legislative Republicans’ plan to overhaul workers’ compensation and a proposal to lengthen the public school year by up to five days.

The so-called spring break also followed a breakneck deadline week. For an idea of the slowdown’s scale, two weeks ago the House approved more than 140 bills, one day debating until midnight. Last week, representatives passed three. It was much the same in the Senate, where five bills passed, down from 134 the previous week.

“I wouldn’t say that there’s any less activity,” said Nathan Atkins, the spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman.

“It just is a different kind of activity.”

Another reason for the slowdown is largely procedural: Even if legislators knew what they wanted to do with the bills that have crossed over, those proposals first must be voted up or down by a committee. That hasn’t happened yet. Only seven of the House’s three dozen committees and subcommittees met last week, for example.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014

  • Okla. food pantries struggle to meet demand

    TULSA — Food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across Oklahoma are scrambling to meet demand for food from, among other groups, kids left in the lurch because they can’t get the free and discounted meals offered when schools are in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Rogers County clerk sues paper over stories

    CLAREMORE — The Rogers County clerk has sued the Claremore Daily Progress and its government reporter over claims the newspaper painted her in a false light and invaded her privacy. Clerk Robin Anderson filed a lawsuit Thursday against ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Okla. high court says lawmaker can serve as DA

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A Republican House member from Jenks is eligible to become Tulsa County’s district attorney, even though a raise for prosecutors was approved during his term in the Legislature, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Friday....

    July 26, 2014

  • Fallin wants probe to include botched executions

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin says the governor wants investigators looking into Oklahoma’s recent flawed execution to consider problems that have popped up in other states such as Ohio and Arizona....

    July 26, 2014

  • Immigrant children being placed with sponsors

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal government says more than 200 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma have been placed with sponsors so far this year. The federal government released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday of the numbers of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • OCU prepares to move law library downtown

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University’s School of Law is moving its library into a historic building in downtown Oklahoma City....

    July 25, 2014

  • CareerTech board names Mack as interim director

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology Education has named CareerTech deputy state director and chief operating officer Marcie Mack as interim director....

    July 25, 2014

  • Ohio State marching band chief fired

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday amid allegations he knew about and ignored “serious cultural issues,” some involving rituals where students were pressured to march in ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Board votes to delay plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that ...

    July 24, 2014