OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma lawmaker says he has started a process for legislators to call themselves back into session to pass vetoed legislation.
Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, released a statement Wednesday, claiming the state has seen decisions from Governor Mary Fallin over the past eight years that were “out of step” with Oklahomans, the Republican party platform, and the Constitution.
“We have seen Governor Fallin use her veto pen to kill bills that would have brought transparency and accountability to government, reined in out of control agency rules, get parents more involved in education, restore our Second Amendment rights, return local control back to communities, secure parental rights in healthcare decisions, streamline and modernize state government, restore private property rights, change the budgeting system for long term planning, and more,” Sen. Dahm said. “This would afford us the opportunity to correct those mistakes without having to wait another year to do so.”
Dahm is the author of Senate Bill 1212, which would have allowed Oklahomans to carry firearms without a permit. The measure, which received a mix of both praise and criticism from the Oklahoma House and Senate during session, passed the Legislature, but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Fallin.
He has started collecting signatures from lawmakers supporting the call, noting there are already two existing potentials to return for a special session. One deals with State Question 788 on the legalization of medical marijuana, and the other is Oklahoma Taxpayers United’s plans to overturn the tax hikes signed into law. If it is overturned, Dahm told News 4 that lawmakers would have to return over budget issues.
“It appears likely we will return back to the Capitol for at least one more special session this summer or fall. If we will be returning for another session, it would seem an opportune time to simultaneously deal with these measures the Governor has vetoed,” Dahm said.
Dahm told News 4, special sessions generally cost about $30,000 a day; however, he said a special session on passing vetoed legislation would not cost add costs if ran at the same time as ones devoted to State Question 788 and/or the petition over tax hikes.
So far, the following members have already signed on to the resolution: Reps. Sean Roberts; Greg Babinec; Bobby Cleveland; Jeff Coody; Jon Echols; George Faught; Tom Gann; Lewis Moore; Zack Taylor; Kevin West; Rick West; Mark Lawson; and Sens. Nathan Dahm; Josh Brecheen; James Leewright; and Anthony Sykes.
Michael McNutt, a spokesperson for the Governor’s office, confirms if two-thirds of legislators on both chambers chamber agree, they are free to convene a special session and take up measures of their choosing.
“The governor has no plans to call a special session,” McNutt told News 4 on Wednesday.