Frustrated over the legislative budget process and not having a direct say in money discussions, House Democrats and Republicans rallied together Wednesday to vote down a bill that would fund the Space Industry Development Authority.
"It’s not a transparent process,” said Rep. Mike Reynolds of the method used to OK funding bills. Bills with no figures in them are approved early on in the session. Usually in May, the last month of the session, the bills return with numbers plugged in but legislators have little say in adjusting those amounts, said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. Additional appropriations bills remain so the authority, which administers the Oklahoma Spaceport near Burns Flat, eventually will get funded for the 2011 fiscal year, which starts July 1. But the vote angered key Republican leaders as it slowed down the process to move along appropriation bills and embarrassed the GOP’s newest lawmaker. Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, elected in October and taking part in just his third day as a legislator, defended the spaceport, which is in his district. Ongoing Coverage: Politics