in the Oklahoma Legislature;
3 of Them Fail in the Senate
Following last Tuesday's lop-sided vote in the States' Rights Committee of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, members and friends of the United Nations Association are due for some good news. Here it is.
Three anti-UN measures failed to advance in the State Senate. For all practical purposes, they will not go anywhere in this Legislative session. They failed to meet a legislative deadline for passage of Senate bills out of committee.
That's 3 down and 1 to go.
The remaining bill that has a chance of passage is House Bill 1412 by Rep. Sally Kern. It is the proposed new law that would prohibit public commerce with the United Nations as well as with a secret list of other intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations.
Perhaps it is an overstatement to say "secret list." Maybe "unpublished" or "closely guarded" would be more accurate. In her appearance before the States' Rights Committee, Rep. Kern made clear that her bill would forbid public entities in our state from having anything to do with nongovernmental organizations (NGO's) that are linked to the United Nations. But she offered only one way that the list of forbidden organizations can be identified:
"I don't know, offhand, if they are actually listed," she said. "...But, you talk to anyone who has anything to do with fighting against this Agenda, and they can rattle off to you all kinds of organizations, NGO's, that are being used to filter this, bypassing state legislatures and going straight to city councils... to put in place the policies they want."
If you want to know the details of the proposed law, just ask your local conspiracy theorist. That's not exactly a model of legislative transparency, is it?
At any rate, there is another legislative deadline for House Bill 1412. That is, according to the published Legislative Calendar, there is a deadline of March 14th for all House Bills to be approved by a vote of the full House of Representatives. Otherwise, the bill drops out of the hopper, and it wouldn't normally come up for a vote during the rest of the 2013 session.
So, it can be said that time is on our side. Last year, we were successful in blocking a similar legislative measure because it failed to get an up-or-down vote in the House of Representatives before the calendar deadline. There is a good chance that HB 1412 will meet the same fate.
Many observers recognize that HB 1412 is a controversial measure that is mostly symbolic in nature. It does nothing to improve the quality of life in our state. It tramples on the concept of local control. If it were to become law, it would create a confusing situation for political subdivisions in our state -- because the language of the bill is so vague.
For these reasons alone, we can hope that HB 1412 will *not* be scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives.
To improve the likelihood that HB 1412 won't come up for a vote, you are encouraged to write to the members of the Calendar Committee of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. That's the committee that decides which bills appear on the House agenda for a vote. Their names and email addresses are given below.
Please let them know that HB 1412 is not ripe for action and does not deserve a vote on the House floor. As always, you are asked to use language that is courteous to our elected representatives and respectful of the office they hold.
Members of the Calendar Committee
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Rep. Peterson, Pam ... email@example.com
Rep. Armes, Don ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Cockroft, Josh ... email@example.com
Rep. Cooksey, Marian ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Hall, Elise ... email@example.com
Rep. Hoskins, Chuck ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Johnson, Dennis ... email@example.com
Rep. Jordan, Fred ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Kouplen, Steve ... email@example.com
Rep. McDaniel, Jeannie ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. McNiel, Skye ... email@example.com
Rep. Murphey, Jason ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Osborn, Leslie ... email@example.com
Rep. Schwartz, Colby ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Sherrer, Ben ... email@example.com
Rep. Smalley, Jason ... firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Thomsen, Todd ... email@example.com
Rep. Virgin, Emily ... firstname.lastname@example.org