Lawmaker's Financial Backing Under Review

Monday, May 5th 2008, 7:22 pm
By: News On 6

A Broken Arrow lawmaker is being questioned about campaign contributions.  The News On 6's Amy Lester reports he's accepted a lot of money from the insurance industry and some say it's influencing his work at the Capitol.

Representative Ron Peterson has opposed to health care mandates that force insurance companies to provide more coverage.  He insists his decision has nothing to do with contributions.  But, others wonder if that's true.

At the Capitol, supporters of Nick's Law, the bill that would force insurance companies to cover autism treatments push for support.

The parents met their first roadblock in Representative Ron Peterson's committee meeting when he refused to hear the bill.

A check of Representative Ron Peterson's campaign contributions for the past year and a half reveals that at least a quarter of his more than $64,000 in campaign contributions are from Political Action Committees or people tied to the insurance industry.

Representative Ron Peterson is a former judge, lawyer, banker and insurance agent.  He opposes bills like Nick's Law, believing health care mandates will raise insurance rates making it less affordable.

Peterson says a quarter of Oklahomans are already uninsured.  Supporters of Nick's Law still wonder if insurance companies behind the scenes are influencing lawmakers' decisions.