Lawmakers Rated On Consumer, Patient Safety Issues

Monday, July 9th 2007, 5:16 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma Senate members got an overall ``B'' rating and House members received a ``C'' in the first scorecard issued by a Tulsa-based nonprofit group that focuses on legislation affecting the safety of consumers and medical patients.

The report card was issued by the Oklahoma Center for Consumer and Patient Safety, a 501C-4 organization funded by private donations and founded two years ago to educate the public advocate for consumer issues.

Hugh M. Robert, executive director, said legislation used to compile the scorecard includes a number of bills that would strengthen laws to protect the elderly and children, combat identity theft and provide corporate immunity.

One lawmaker, Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, got an ``F'' on the scorecard and two of the top legislative leaders _ Senate Co-President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee and House Speaker Lance Cargill _ received a ``D'' grade.

Reynolds said the rating ``confirmed that I am the most conservative legislator'' in Oklahoma. He said many of the bills he opposed ``mandated that the government do something that is not the government's problem to solve.''

Two senators received a perfect rating _ Democrats Judy Eason McIntyre of Tulsa and Mike Morgan of Stillwater. Morgan is president pro tem of the Senate.

Senators getting an ``A'' were Democrats Andrew Rice, Connie Johnson and Debbie Leftwich of Oklahoma City, Tom Adelson and Mary Easley of Tulsa, Sean Burrage of Claremore and Jeff Rabon of Hugo.

Besides Coffee, five Republican senators received a ``D'' rating _ Randy Brogdon of Owasso, Mike Johnson of Kingfisher, Anthony Sykes of Moore, Cliff Aldridge of Midwest City and Owen Laughlin of Woodward.

Laughlin, co-majority floor leader, said he could not comment until he saw details of the ratings.

Twenty-three senators received a ``B'' ranking and nine senators receive a ``C.''

In the 101-member House, Rep. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa, was the only lawmaker getting a perfect score. Fourteen other members received an ``A'' rating, 41 got a ``B,'' 22 received a ``C'' and 23 got a ``D.''

``We are thankful for those legislators who put the consumer and patient safety concerns above special and corporate interests,'' said Robert, a former corporate manager. ``It is unfortunate though that there were still a number of bills that would have had a tremendous impact on consumer and patient safety that didn't get heard in the other chamber.

``We also are thankful for the strong positions the governor took on a number of bills that would have seriously undermined patient safety and consumer rights.''