Thu April 17, 2003
Oklahomans Apparently Lose Lottery Vote till '04
Oklahoma City, Ok. – State Representative Ron Kirby, Lawton Democrat and author of House Bill 1278 which is the companion bill for Senate Joint Resolution 22, says a web of games and politics apparently caused the snag in a possible vote on the education lottery issue this year.
Kirby notes the House members did not produce the 68 votes needed on April 16 for the special election status of SJR 22 which would have allowed the vote to take place this year, possibly in late summer.
Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry issued a statement saying he was "disapponted with the House vote as SJR 22 is a critical component of the education lottery, providing ironclad, constitutional protection to the funds it generates. The measure would guarantee those funds being treated as new dollars above and beynd the education budget. And Henry stresses, as he has said many times, he believes it must be on the same ballot as the companion proposal so it appears the only date available for such a vote is November of '04. He concluded, "This issue has been thoroughly debated and it is probably time to move on."
Kirby tells KCCU if the Senate amends the bill, even just changing a comma in the wording, it might be able to return for another attempt for enough votes in the House for special election status.