In 2009, a bill that contained a little tort reform was combined with a lot of other things and those “other things” are why the law was unconstitutional. Now, 4 years later, special interests who will do “Anything For Money” are telling us that the law is so important that we should spend up to a quarter of a million dollars of our money to split House Bill 1603 into 30 separate bills and pass them all individually. Remember…if they had all been good bills, they would have passed individually in 2009 and not have to have been “logrolled.” Little wonder who is getting “The Big Payoff”?
Now, the people of Oklahoma are paying way more than “A Dollar a Second” for a special session to enact laws that should have been enacted right the first time. Some estimate it to cost around $30,000 per day. Unfortunately, the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate were busy playing “I’ve Got a Secret” and did not file their bills until the last business day before the session started.
When I received those bills, I found a number of errors and submitted 9 correction bills of my own. There were a few bills submitted by Republicans also. On Tuesday we were told that only the bills submitted by the Speaker of the House would be heard and that each member would be limited to an average of 7 or 8 seconds per bill to ask questions and that 7 or 8 seconds would also include the time that it took for the answers. Several legislators, including both Democrats and Republicans objected. One Republican even called it “the most abusive rule” that has occurred in his 11 years as a State Representative.
I have heard Republicans say that they are just treating Democrats like the Democrats treated them for years. I hope that is not true. If it is, the Democrats should be ashamed. However, at some point we have got to get past retaliation and work together for the common good of the people of Oklahoma. Our elderly, our children and every Oklahoman deserves better.