Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

March 18, 2013

State legislators take look at decorum problems

OKLAHOMA CITY — Flaring tempers, profanity on the floor and flippant remarks during debates highlighted recent breaches in decorum at the Oklahoma Legislature, prompting the Senate to go into a rarely used closed-door session to discuss chamber rules and one member to deliver a public apology in the House.

Uncivil behavior isn’t unprecedented — no one got shot as in a session 66 years ago — but when it happens it turns heads.

“I hit the gavel as hard as I’ve ever hit it,” said Rep. Don Armes, R-Faxon, the target of Democrats who feared they were being ignored during a late-night debate.

“Frustration is one thing, but you’ve got to keep the decorum,” said Armes, who is in his 11th year as a legislator and regularly presides over debates.

Last week was a legislative deadline for bills to be heard on the floor, and tempers ran high Tuesday night when the House worked until midnight to consider bills. When Republicans, in the majority, decided to cut off questions and debate in order to get several bills passed before the midnight deadline, Democrats objected. One cussed and drew a reprimand. Even after the session ended, a Democrat shouted at Armes.

“Last night things got kind of heated ... I apologize and I mean it,” Rep. James Lockhart, D-Heavener, said from the well of the House the next day, earning a standing ovation from the entire chamber.

Democratic leader Rep. Scott Inman said Democrats were frustrated because Armes wasn’t recognizing them for motions or objections.

“Two or three of those members got frustrated and voiced their frustration in a way they shouldn’t have, to be honest with you,” said Inman, D-Del City. “Momma always said nothing good happens after midnight. Well, I can tell you in the Legislature nothing good happens just before midnight, and this was case in point.”

Text Only
State/Nation
  • Grand jury reviewing misconduct accusations reconvenes in OKC

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials reconvenes today in Oklahoma City.

    April 15, 2014

  • Lawyers protest move to take over judicial appointments
    A top Oklahoma lawyer is protesting a move by the Legislature to wrest control of the way judges are chosen, which she says could taint the state’s judicial system.
     

    April 15, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 14, 2014

  • Tax Day deadline Chances of getting audited by IRS lowest in years

    As millions of Americans race to meet Tuesday’s tax deadline, their chances of getting audited are lower than they have been in years.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Candidates begin filing for county, statewide races

    The candidate filing period for the June 24 statewide election officially opened Wednesday morning, and will remain open until 5 p.m. Friday. 

    April 9, 2014

  • New Share the Spirit President Commissioners to discuss audit information

    While no audit information was addressed during a regular Rogers County Commissioners meeting Monday, plans for an upcoming public hearing were mentioned.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • ODOT chief warns of project delays

    Oklahoma’s transportation director says road projects across the state will face significant delays if the Legislature pushes forward with a plan to divert transportation funding to education over the next several years.

    April 7, 2014

  • County officials 2012 audit repeats 2011 findings

    Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones released the 2012 audit Thursday for Rogers County listing repeated findings from the 2011 audit that was released Wednesday.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Report on Audit State auditor reveals possible fraud

    Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones determined officials in Rogers County violated state law, submitted fictitious invoices, back dated records and failed to properly document $5 million in federal FEMA funds.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nonprofit insurers struggle in new marketplaces

    A smorgasbord of options and lower prices for consumers were two of the chief selling points for President Barack Obama as he promoted his overhaul of the nation’s health insurance industry, predicting Americans would see “competition in ways we haven’t seen before.” Companies were even started as a way to encourage innovation and competition, namely 23 consumer-run, co-op insurers created with the help of $2 billion in federal loans.

     

    April 2, 2014