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Stitt vetoes first bill

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Gov. Kevin Stitt announces his first executive orders during a press conference at the Capitol Thursday, January 24, 2019.  Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman
Gov. Kevin Stitt announces his first executive orders during a press conference at the Capitol Thursday, January 24, 2019. Photo by Doug Hoke, The Oklahoman

Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed his first bill Tuesday, dismissing a relatively innocuous measure to form a new state task force.

Stitt vetoed House Bill 1205, which would have formed a 14-person task force to advise the governor and legislative leaders on the creation of an ombudsman program to advocate for people receiving in-home and community-based care services.

The measure introduced by Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, would have formed the Oklahoma Home and Community-Based Services Ombudsman Program Task Force.

But Stitt, in his veto letter, said he prefers for his cabinet and agency directors to work with state lawmakers to protect Oklahomans receiving in-home and community-based care.

“The safety of those Oklahomans receiving in-home and community-based care and services is of utmost concern to me,” Stitt wrote. “While I support the underlying purpose of this task force, I would like to address this matter through a more direct and effective means.”

Oklahoma already has similar ombudsman programs. The Department of Human Services oversees the state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman program that serves residents in long-term care facilities like nursing homes.

HB 1205 is the only bill Stitt has vetoed this year. As of Wednesday morning, he had signed 77 of the 92 bills lawmakers had sent to his desk.

Carmen Forman

Carmen Forman covers the state Capitol and governor's office for The Oklahoman. A Norman native and graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she previously covered state politics in Virginia and Arizona before returning to Oklahoma. Read more ›

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