A move in the state House to increase transparency for taxpayers, and also make life a little less tense for lawmakers.
House Speaker T.W. Shannon of Lawton said the new House Calendar Committee allows members to make requests about their bills being heard on the floor. He said in the past, members only went to the Speaker or Floor Leader, rather than a group of other members.
"It's open to the amendment process. Open to the public. It's an open meeting. It's recorded votes," Shannon told reporters.
Shannon said a majority of House Calendar Committee members vote as to whether a bill will be heard on the House floor, instead of just a couple of people making those decisions. He said the Calendar Committee can also send a bill back to its committee of origin.
Shannon said the Calendar Committee came about after House members expressed a desire for more input on the bill-hearing process.
"I think that's why you've also seen a lot less tension than you've often seen the first week of session," Shannon said.
He said several other states have similar committees, which can make the Legislative process smoother.
The new House Calendar Committee's chaired by Representative Pam Peterson, of Tulsa.
(House Speaker T.W. Shannon, (R) - Lawton.)
(Rep. Pam Peterson, (R) - Tulsa.)