Oklahoma Senate leader reconsiders his birth dates vote

BY JULIE BISBEE Modified: April 2, 2010 at 6:29 pm •  Published: February 26, 2010
The leader of the Senate said he would vote against a bill to keep public employees’ birth dates confidential if the measure returns to the Senate.

Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, said Thursday he did not support the measure approved by the Senate without opposition last week.

"Upon further review, I think I would have changed my vote,” Coffee said. "I think you have to have access to that information and the First Amendment matters, like all of the Constitution. We need to preciously guard that. Are there abuses? Sure. Does that mean you don’t protect the First Amendment and what it stands for? No, I don’t think so.”

Senate Bill 1753 by Sen. Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, passed the Senate in a vote of 44-0. No senators asked questions about the bill or debated it. The measure now goes to the House, where Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, is the legislation’s House author.

The bill, which does not have a title, must now go through the committee process and be heard on the floor of the House of Representatives. However, without a title, the bill cannot become law. Titles can be placed at any point in the process. The bill would not come back to the Senate unless the House makes changes to the measure.

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association and several law enforcement associations support the measure. Politics coverage

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