Vote set to determine House rules

Vote set to determine House rules

Posted: Updated:

A proposal that some lawmakers say would eliminate a major transparency reform in the House is up for a vote by state representatives Thursday.  The legislation would abolish the "calendar committee," which is responsible for sending bills through to the house floor leader.

The committee was put in place by former House Speaker T.W. Shannon.  State Representative Jason Murphey (R, Guthrie) says the committee removed power from the Speaker's office and put it in the hands of a bipartisan committee. 

"If this committee is successfully abolished the power transfers to the Speaker of the House," Murphey told Fox 25, "That's an awful lot of power to be given to one person and it will mean that decisions on what bills will be heard will be made in private in secret and outside of public purview."

"This actually makes the process more transparent," said Representative Mike Reynolds (R, Oklahoma City) who presented the measure to the Rules Committee on behalf of Speaker Jeff Hickman.

"Now we don't have another committee preventing bills from going to the floor," Reynolds told Fox 25 after the committee voted to approve the change in House rules.

"Representative Reynolds is absolutely wrong on this," Murphey said, "The abolishment on the committee means one person makes a decision in a backroom instead of a committee taking a public vote in the light of day with the transparency of a public vote."

"The members over the last several weeks, Democrats and Republicans, have come to me and made that request," Speaker Hickman (R, Fairview) said, "So that was not my idea by any means it came from members of the House."

Speaker Hickman said while the legislation bears his name, it is not his desire to add more power to the Speaker's office.  Instead he says the proposal would eliminate an unnecessary step in the process.  The Speaker said that even with the calendar committee in place, the final decisions on what bills got heard still required the approval of the floor leader.  That process will not change and Hickman says members of the House will still play a part in the process of deciding on which bills get heard.

"The members will still be doing that we'll just do it with the assistant floor leaders in more of an informal process than through a calendar committee," Hickman told Fox 25.  However the Speaker said those meeting are conducted in an office rather than a public forum.

The full House is schedule to debate and vote on the rule changes Thursday.

 

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Norman warns residents about arsenic in the water

    Norman warns residents about arsenic in the water

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:31:08 GMT
    Folks who turn on the faucet in Norman now have another warning about arsenic in the water. The warnings are coming from this letter, sent to residents this week.Three wells exceeded the legal limit for arsenic, and had to be shut down.But Norman's director of utilities Ken Komiske says the city's water is safe to drink."We took care of it. We turned off these wells, they represent less than 2% of all the water we produce," Komiske said.While the problem is concerning, Komiske says the limits...
    Folks who turn on the faucet in Norman now have another warning about arsenic in the water. The warnings are coming from this letter, sent to residents this week.Three wells exceeded the legal limit for arsenic, and had to be shut down.But Norman's director of utilities Ken Komiske says the city's water is safe to drink."We took care of it. We turned off these wells, they represent less than 2% of all the water we produce," Komiske said.While the problem is concerning, Komiske says the limits...
  • Oklahoma City reverend questions Honest Tea's social experiment

    Oklahoma City reverend questions Honest Tea's social experiment

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:00:23 GMT
    Honest Tea's hashtag logo for their Honest Index Social Experiment. Honest Tea's hashtag logo for their Honest Index Social Experiment.
    A simple social experiment made its first stop in the metro Friday to find out if the city is honest.But one local pastor, Reverend Joelene Barber, wasn't happy it was held in her neighborhood.
    A simple social experiment made its first stop in the metro Friday to find out if the city is honest.But one local pastor, Reverend Joelene Barber, wasn't happy it was held in her neighborhood.
  • Storm shelter grant money available to some in Oklahoma

    Storm shelter grant money available to some in Oklahoma

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:39:19 GMT
    It's been a quiet storm season in the state, but Oklahomans know the next round could always be just around the corner .A storm shelter can offer piece of mind but it comes at a cost.
    It's been a quiet storm season in the state, but Oklahomans know the next round could always be just around the corner .A storm shelter can offer piece of mind but it comes at a cost.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.