It would seem to be a no brainer, that your representatives assigned to various committees would actually consider the bills brought before them. However, ask any activist involved for more than one cycle if you want to hear the war stories!
The House officially convenes on Monday, February 6, and their first order of business will be to adopt the rules which will govern how they operate for the session. On that day, a representative will propose the adoption of the “Open Government Rule,” which states, “A bill shall be heard and receive a vote in committee if the primary author requests it in writing; and a bill, having passed committee, shall be heard and receive a vote on the House floor if the primary author requests it in writing.”
To help return a voice to the people and our representatives, please CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE by email and by phone. Your message should run something like this:
Representative _______, I am one your constituents, and I am asking you to vote YES on February 6 on a new House rule, called the “Open Government Rule,” which would effectively guarantee all representatives a right to have their bills heard in committee and receive a recorded vote if they so desire. I want to see the legislative processes reformed to discourage corruption while encouraging transparency and accountability. As it currently stands, the Speaker and his Committee Chairmen can kill your bills without a hearing. That violates the foundation of representative government, denying you and your constituents an equal voice.
Follow up with your representative for an answer. Insist on a response. The chances are your representative attended a government school, so he will find it helpful if you offer multiple choices to make the decision easier:
A. Yes, I will support the Open Government Rule because every member should have an equal voice.
B. No, I will not support the Open Government Rule because the Speaker and Chairmen should be able to silence any member by killing any bill.
C. I support a compromise rule which is explained in my reply.
*OCPAC covered this alert information and gave this bit of insight into dealing with objections. “The main objections to the Open Government Rule are that there is not enough time to hear all the bills and that it would lead to frivolous bills. These are just excuses. Frivolous bills will be dispatched quickly, teaching representatives to straighten up and behave. Other states follow this model, so we know there will be plenty of time for serious legislation. If we really need to find more time, we could always dispense with truly frivolous activity such as recognizing junior high school bowling teams on the floor of the House.”
If you would like to join with other activists working on this effort, please join our OKGrassroots Online Community formerly/http://OKGrassroots.ning.com here (also a top tab on this website).
If you need assistance finding out who your representatives are, please use the online voter tool here (also a top tab on this website.
If you need assistance finding contact information for your representative, here is the Oklahoma Legislature – home page.
This post originated on OKGrassroots Activist Alert: Open Government Rule is a Top Priority
Background information: Charles Key Video from OCPAC Meeting – Stolen Government to Open Government
*picture denotes ‘upside down priorities’ at the Oklahoma capitol and the need to get back to representative government NOT top down government…