Oklahoma Senate break rankles House members

Simmering tensions between the Oklahoma House and Senate boil over onto the House floor Wednesday as House members testily debated a Senate request to take Thursday off to have a four-day Easter holiday.
by Randy Ellis Published: April 16, 2014
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Simmering tensions between the state House and Senate boiled over onto the House floor Wednesday as House members testily debated a Senate request to take Thursday off so senators could take a four-day Easter holiday.

House members ultimately voted 51-32 to grant the senators’ request, but only after taking several digs at members of the other chamber.

“There’s work to do here. Why in the world would we agree to let them take a vacation?” asked state Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City.

“The important issues are the ones that the House sends to the Senate that they ignore because they can’t face up to the tough issues,” chipped in state Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. “Why we’re giving them a pass, I don’t know.”

House members said they had too much work to join senators in taking Thursday off.

The House and Senate normally are in session Monday through Thursday and do not meet Fridays. Members of each chamber must ask permission from the other chamber when they want to take a break that goes beyond the normal three-day weekend.

Several House members criticized their Senate counterparts for taking a break while refusing to hear numerous bills that originated in the House.

“There’s a pro-life bill languishing in the Senate right now. It’s been there for years,” said state Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City.

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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