Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gov. Brad Henry vetoes insurance bill

Capitol Bureau
Published: April 30, 2009

Gov. Brad Henry on Thursday vetoed a bill that would limit when legislation dealing with the insurance industry could be heard.

House Bill 1975 said insurance legislation could only be introduced in odd-numbered years and approved in even-numbered years. The bill would have also required a 75 percent super-majority vote to do away with the mandate in the case of an emergency.

In the message that accompanied Henry's veto, he said the bill would have unreasonably "tied the hands of state policy makers on a very important issue." “This would empower a small minority of legislators to thwart legitimate state efforts to address a pressing public policy issue and ensure that the restriction would rarely, if ever, be lifted," Henry said.

Henry also questioned why HB 1975 restrictions were only applied to a single issue area, saying it raised legitimate concerns regarding why only one subject would be singled out for special treatment.

“Oklahoma and its citizens are better served when policy makers are allowed the freedom to address any pressing issue in the Legislature without the hindrance of arbitrary restrictions,” Henry said.

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