OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma voters would get to decide if the governor and lieutenant governor should run on a ticket together, whether residents need more gun rights, and if the entire state constitution should be rewritten under a trio of measures that were approved by a House panel on Wednesday.
The House Rules Committee approved three separate joint resolutions that would send the proposals to a vote of the people. All three resolutions now go to the full House for consideration.
Rep. Gary Banz, R-Midwest City, wants the people to decide if the governor and lieutenant governor should run together and whether it's time for a state constitutional convention. Banz said Oklahoma voters should get to decide if the state constitution needs to be rewritten, but he acknowledges political leaders from both parties have been skeptical about the idea.
"I think there's an innate fear about what would happen in a constitutional convention," Banz said.
He said his proposal to allow the governor and lieutenant governor to run together on a ticket has been endorsed by former Oklahoma Govs. David Boren and George Nigh, both Democrats, and Frank Keating, a Republican.
A separate proposal by Rep. Dan Fisher, R-El Reno, seeks a public vote on whether to amend the Oklahoma Constitution to make it more difficult to infringe on an individual's right to keep and bear arms. Fisher said the state constitution is "relatively weak" when it comes to gun rights for self-defense. If approved by the voters, his bill provides that any attempt by the state to regulate gun rights would be subject to "strict scrutiny" by the courts.