OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Legislature is voting to override several vetoes from Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday.
The first bill up for vote was House Bill 3819, authored by House Speaker Charles McCall and Rep. Kevin McDugle of the House, along with President Pro Tempore of the State Senate Greg Treat and Sen. Micheal Bergstrom.
Under the bill, it would be “unlawful for any state agency to direct, put in contract, or in any way prohibit a vendor, client, employer or independent contractor, person, or any other entity from contacting or communicating with any member of the Legislature.”
After the reading of Stitt’s message for the reasoning of his veto, House Majority Leader Jon Echols (R) was confused by some of the things the governor said.
“Whoever wrote that veto message clearly never even read this bill,” Echols said. “There is a lot of stuff in the veto message that is very strange for a half-page bill.”
The vote to override the veto passed 94-3.
The second bill up for vote was House Bill 4049, authored by McCall, Rep. Dell Kerbs, Rep. Brian Hill, Rep. Randy Randleman and Rep. Robert Manger of the House and Sen. David Bullard, Bergstrom, Sen. Larry Boggs and Sen. Paul Scott of the Senate.
The measure concerns registration renewals for motor vehicles, modifying options available when renewing registration online and providing for a deposit of certain funds.
Again, lawmakers took issue with the governor’s veto message.
“This again seems like one of those where whoever wrote this message is not really in tune with the issue,” House Minority Leader (D) Emily Virgin remarked.
Echols agreed that the governor’s response did not add up with what the bill actually said.
“There’s too much friction,” Echols said. “These are bills that the author should have been called to explain on these, because there are some points that just aren’t true.”
The vote to override the veto passed 89-7.
The House also discussed House Bill 4018, which would create a Rural Broadband Expansion Council.
The vote to override the veto passed 90-6.
All together, lawmakers overruled six of Stitt’s vetos.
The House and Senate did not take up the bill the governor surprisingly vetoed, his healthcare expansion plan, Soonercare 2.0. With the bill dead, so is his healthcare expansion.
“It was something we were trying to fund his plan,” Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat said. “Some of us agreed with, some of us disagreed with. It was a very difficult vote, we wish it would have been signed.”