The Norman Transcript

State/Region

August 26, 2013

Speaker sets session guidelines

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma lawmakers will likely take up more than two dozen bills when they convene at the state Capitol next month for a special session dealing with tort legislation, according to House Speaker T.W. Shannon.

Shannon, R-Lawton, said a rewrite of the state’s tort system would require 26 to 28 bills. The Journal Record reported Sunday that Shannon told lawmakers in a memo last week there’s no deadline for bill introduction, though all House bills will be read on Sept. 3, the first day of the session.

He said he expects the session to last six to 10 days.

Gov. Mary Fallin called the special session to restore several laws overturned by the state Supreme Court that were designed to cut businesses’ legal liability costs.

It will be the first special legislative session since Fallin took office in 2011, and the governor wants lawmakers to limit the session to restoring the provisions of a bill adopted in 2009 that was designed to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits and medical malpractice claims filed in Oklahoma.

The high court threw out the legislation earlier this year, finding that it violated the single-subject rule in the Oklahoma Constitution and amounted to logrolling, or the passing of legislation that contains multiple subjects.

Some Democrats have opposed the special session, noting that it would cost taxpayers about $30,000 per day.

“The Democrats in the state Senate believe that a special session to revisit this issue is a waste of both time and taxpayer dollars,” said Sen. Sean Burrage, D-Claremore.

State Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa, said the tort reform legislation would pass both chambers of the Legislature.

“The way things are going, it looks like they have the votes to pass it,” she said. “But what’s sad to me is I’m getting email from the medical community urging me to support the bill. But, at the same time, these same people have stayed silent on Medicaid expansion.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Christie set to visit state for fundraiser

    OKLAHOMA CITY — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning a return trip to Oklahoma after a December ice storm forced him to cancel a scheduled appearance with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin....

    July 30, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Scam targets migrants

    HOUSTON — Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said....

    July 27, 2014

  • Trial delayed for man in murder case

    DUNCAN — The first-degree murder trial of a Velma man charged with killing a 16-year-old girl has been delayed until January....

    July 27, 2014

  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    OKLAHOMA CITY — One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. What some consider a far-flung ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Man found dead outside Tulsa home

    TULSA — Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city’s north side....

    July 27, 2014

  • 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