Saturday, May 24, 2008
Rep Mike Brown plans discharge petition
Lawmaker tries unique approach to force vote on autism bill, but bid falls short
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A Democratic state lawmaker leading an effort to force Republican leaders in the House to schedule a vote on legislation that would require health insurers to cover autism says it will "take a miracle" to bring the measure to a vote this year. Rep. Mike Brown of Tahlequah began collecting the signatures of his colleagues on Thursday.
Brown says he wants to get enough signatures to force House leaders to pull the bill out of a House-Senate conference committee and schedule it for a vote. Brown says he needs the signatures of two-thirds of the House's 101 members, or 68 signatures, to force the bill to the House floor. So far, Brown says, he has 48 signatures - those of the House's 44 Democrats and four Republicans. Brown says he believes the bill would pass if House members got a chance to vote on it.However, on Friday, Brown admitted that Republican House members will provide no more signatures and the bill appears to be dead for this session.