Approaching winter storm leads to cancellation of “Rose Day”

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
Published 08-Feb-2011

Responding to forecasts of 100% chance of more snow for Oklahoma, the state House of Representatives decided early this afternoon (Tuesday, February 8) not to convene in session on Wednesday or Thursday as originally scheduled. The Senate later announced the same decision.
Speaker of the House Kris Steele said, “In light of the great distances many House members have to travel when returning to their home districts, it is prudent to allow them to make those drives now before road conditions potentially became icy and dangerous. While this delay is inconvenient, it will not result in any major disruption of the legislative session and we will resume regular activity next Monday.”
Officials at the Capitol said they would review road conditions early on Wednesday and may determine that the building should be closed at that time.
The Senate adjourned after concluding business at mid-afternoon due to the approaching winter storm, with the office of President Pro Tem Brian Bingman announcing the Senate would not meet tomorrow or Thursday. Senate offices will be closed on Wednesday.
Like last week’s blizzard, the storm is predicted to have a major negative effect on state roads and highways.
Besides a range of hearings on the wave of proposed new legislation, the annual Rose Day activities for pro-life activists were scrubbed.
Activists had intended to make personal delivery of roses to legislators, as they have done for many years, and to meet with their representatives and senators to argue in favor of two proposals on this year’s legislative agenda.
One is House Bill 1888, sponsored by Rep. Pam Peterson of Tulsa. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would restrict abortions after that point in pregnancy when an unborn baby is capable of feeling pain (20 weeks after fertilization).
Another measure enjoying support from the pro-life community is Senate Bill 547, sponsored by Sen. Anthony Sykes of Moore. His measure would, according to a summary sent to CapitolBeatOK, “restrict coverage for elective abortions under health-insurance plans, affirm the principle that killing is not health care, and protect the conscience rights of pro-life premium payers so they’re not complicit” in abortion procedures.
Note: Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.