Lawmaker says special session for vetoed bills would be “bad policy”

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OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma lawmaker is criticizing a call to bring lawmakers back for a special session to override vetoed legislation as "bad policy."

On Wednesday, Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow announced he has begun collecting signatures from the Legislature to call lawmakers back to pass vetoed legislation. In order to convene, two-thirds of both the House and Senate chambers need to agree.

Rep. Jason Dunnington, D-Oklahoma City told News 4 he doubts Dahm will get enough signatures in the House.

"I don’t even think a third of the members will sign onto it. I think this is more of a political stunt. It’s what Oklahomans are tired of," Dunnington said. "I think that the majority party has gotten too big for itself and has too much in-fighting as it is."

Dahm is the author of Senate Bill 1212, which would have allowed Oklahomans to carry firearms without a permit. The measure passed the Legislature, but it was vetoed by Governor Mary Fallin last Friday.

Dahm told News 4 the call to return to special session would allow Oklahomans to review other vetoed legislation, not just the recent firearms bill.

"Anyone that knows me knows that I am always about the policy. That is my main focus," Dahm said. "That is why I have opened it up to the last eight years of veto overrides because there are many pieces of legislation, many pieces of policy that the governor has vetoed that we have an opportunity if we’re going to be going back in to do work for another special session that we could correct these things as well."

Dunnington argued another special session was not the answer to review vetoed bills. He said, instead, there should have been better communication between the Republican party and the governor's office.

"How about have some open communication with the governor’s office so that you have a good understanding of where she’s going to be when it comes to vetoing or not vetoing some of these bills instead of adjourning early and then being upset that she vetoed them?" he said. "I mean, that lack of communication tells us enough right now."

In rebuttal, Dahm told News 4 "the Senate did pass a resolution that would have kept us in session for an additional 10 days to allow us to come back in if we needed to do a veto override, but it was the House that chose not to do that so I would suggest maybe he [Dunnington] should look at how the House is communicating."

Michael McNutt, a spokesperson for Fallin's office, told us Fallin had no plans of calling for a special session in light of this new call.

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