Friday, April 4, 2008

Update on Nick's Law in House Committee

Way to Go Parents!!!!

Rep Ron Peterson (Tulsa) Chair of the House Economic Development Committee deleted the language of Nick’s Law off SB 1895 prior to committee, yet he was forced to deal with the HUGE number of parents in attendance. His first item of business was to announce that Nick’s Law would not be heard in the committee hearing and ask that we were free to go. Many of the legislators and other guests expected us to leave. WE STAYED AND IT WAS NOTICED BY ALL!!!

One outside observer asked during the committee hearings why so many of the legislators where asking questions of the parents or just speaking to the parents in between breaks in the committee hearing. AND WE WERE NOT ON THE AGENDA!

We need to do three things by Monday .


Please contact the Republican House Leadership and ask that SB 2157 be heard next week (by April 10th) in House Economic Development Committee. Rep Peterson met with nearly twenty of us after the committee meeting and we got our chance to discuss with him why Nick’s Law and OUR CHILDREN need to be heard!! So very proud of all of you!! We now need to make sure that the House leadership knows that we are very serious. SB 2157 to be heard next week (by the 10th of April).

There will be a list of the contact information on the bottom of this email. It is time to get your friends and neighbors involved.


Be careful what we wish for. We need to make sure that we have the votes in the committee. SB 2157 is not a compelling bill for members to vote on. It is about DHS attaching child support payments to Fire Fighter Pensions. The members will need to support Nick’s Law straight out. Rep Charlie Joyner will be the presenter during the hearing.

There are 10 republican members and 7 democrat members. We have been told by the dems in the committee and I have been told by the Dem Leader in the House that we have their vote. We need 9 votes minimum to pass. We should work to get 10. Please contact the republican members of the committee and ask for their support of Nick’s Law in the committee. Some have said that they will vote for Nick’s Law on the floor. That is a BIG DIFFERENCE. We need their support in a committee vote.

If we get the hearing, we better have the votes. If we do not have the votes, we will go another route. Bottom line in the committee, if the vote count goes against us, it is checkmate. “Final Action Rule”


Contact the Democrats on the committee and thank them for their support of Nick’s Law. We were not on the agenda but they made us the main focus of the hearing by asking the question to the chair “ In my version of the bill, I see Nick’s Law as part of the bill. What happened?” They knew that Rep Peterson issued a committee substitute on the bill and deleted the language. Yet they wanted to make the point to the committee.

The name of the game is to survive and advance. Please contact the list below and make sure that the republican members are committed one way or another. It is a vote count. Please let us know when you heard from them. Anne Roberts and the steering committee will be visiting with Rep Joyner next week on the vote count prior to any committee action.

A few talking points for your discussion.

· Similar legislation was passed in Indiana in 2001. The Indiana Insurance Commission’s office has yet to report any increase in health insurance premiums due to this legislation. That is over 6 years worth of research and study.

· Arizona past similar legislation to Nick’s Law last week, joining a list of over 17 states. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Connecticut have introduced similar legislation in March.

· The Insurance Industry’s own policy group reports that autism insurance coverage will cost less than 1%.

· Nick’s Law is about autism insurance coverage. There is some discussion that covering additional mandates (60+) will increase costs. We are only talking about Nick’s Law.

· Oklahoma is one of the least mandated states in the nation.

Republican Leadership

Speaker of the House - Chris Benge (405) 557-7444

Speaker Pro Tem - Gus Blackwell (405) 557-7384

Chair of Economic Development Committee - Rep Ron Peterson (405) 557-7338

Republican Floor Leader - Rep Greg Piatt (405) 557-7326

Majority Whip - Rep Rob Johnson (405) 557-7407

Co-Majority Whip - Rep Mike Jackson (405) 557-7317

Committee Members

Rep. Ron Peterson - Chairman R (405) 557-7338 406

Rep. George Faught – Vice Chair R (405) 557-7310 338

Rep. John Auffett D (405) 557-7394 325

Rep. Mike Brown D (405) 557-7408 539-B

Rep. Ed Cannaday D (405) 557-7375 322

Rep. Wallace Collins D (405) 557-7386 500-A

Rep. David Derby R (405) 557-7377 337

Rep. Jeff Hickman R (405) 557-7339 440

Rep. Chuck Hoskin D (405) 557-7319 510-B

Rep. Fred Jordan R (405) 557-7331 300-B

Rep. Jerry McPeak D (405) 557-7302 501

Rep. Ron Peters R (405) 557-7359 328

Rep. Greg Piatt R (405) 557-7326 442

Rep. Earl Sears R (405) 557-7358 300-C

Rep. Mike Shelton D (405) 557-7367 539-B

Rep. Paul Wesslehoft R (405) 557-7343 329

Rep. Susan Winchester R (405) 557-7333 305-A

Last thing; You have walked with us this far, are you willing to go a little further?

Thank You

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