Governor Keating strikes down seven bills

Friday, May 31st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Gov. Frank Keating vetoed seven bills on Thursday, including measures to provide compensation for Oklahomans wrongly convicted and imprisoned and to change the election process.

Keating said House Bill 2637 created a liability without a showing that the state was a party to intentionally wrongdoing.

``That is too much to expect from a process that sometimes is afflicted by honest human error,'' he said.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Opio Toure, D-Oklahoma City, would have permitted at least six former inmates who were exonerated of felonies for which they were convicted to apply for up to $200,000 in compensation from the state.

Keating also struck down a bill that would have eliminated straight party voting and allowed political parties to decide whether to conduct presidential primaries or return to the caucus system.

``The right of every citizen to participate in the presidential selection process should not be subject to the approval of a political party,'' the governor said.

He said it would reverse a trend of opening up the Oklahoma political process to include ``those beyond just the party's activists.''

Keating, who is winding down his second term as governor, has now vetoed 286 bills, more than any other Oklahoma chief executive.

The Republican governor signed 32 bills into law, including several appropriations measures.

One measure authorizes the Tourism Department to contract for professional services and provides that money derived from the sale of real estate shall be deposited in the agency's revolving fund.

He also signed funding for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and a bill requiring the Department of Human Services to set up a program which allows public access to information about drug assistance programs sponsored by drug manufacturers.