Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fallin Bill Gets Open Conference Panel Hearing

One of Governor Fallin’s agenda bills was among those considered today in an open conference committee meeting in the House.

In the past, bills coming out of conference would often reach the House floor with little public review and with only hours of advance notice.

Rep. Randy McDaniel, who chairs the House Conference Committee on Insurance and Economic Development, noted that the commitment to transparency in the legislative process is a priority.

“This was the first meeting of the Conference Committee on Insurance and Economic Development. I am pleased that the agenda included a major economic development bill important to Oklahoma’s business recruitment efforts,” said McDaniel, R-Oklahoma City.

“I am proud to be part of a reform effort that is dramatically improving legislative oversight as well as advancing important policy proposals.”

House Bill 1953, by Rep. Skye McNiel, would create the Oklahoma Quick Action Closing Fund, which state officials could use to provide financial incentives to induce companies to move to Oklahoma.

“House Bill 1953 is a significant piece of legislation. It has had the tough scrutiny of the legislative process,” said McNiel, R-Bristow. “This bill has been carefully vetted, and I fully believe it will help make Oklahoma a leader in economic development.”

Three other items also received a favorable recommendation. House Bill 1002, by McDaniel, would increase efficiencies in the Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System by requiring more timely payments. House Bill 1243, by McDaniel, would modify the reexamination and continuing insurance education requirements under the Oklahoma Producer Licensing Act. House Bill 1202, by Minority Leader Scott Inman, would modify the Oklahoma Business Opportunity Sales Act. In the past, conference committees seldom involved open meetings or publicly conducted votes.

This year, House lawmakers adopted rule reforms requiring open meetings, public votes, and draft legislation.

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