OKLAHOMA CITY - Senator Mike Fair (R-Oklahoma_City) has directed Senate Staff to draft language to defer the effective date of Oklahoma's Truth-In-Sentencing bill.
The proposed two year delay comes as the end of the 1998 legislative session nears and lawmakers have yet to reach an agreement on changes to the criminal justice reform bill.
"The proposed delay could be considered if the Senate and House vote to suspend their rules," said Senator Fair. "However, the Governor would more than likely have to call a special session of the Legislature to make it happen."
Senator Fair informed Governor Keating of his proposal by letter this week. In the letter, Fair encourages the Governor to convene lawmakers in a special session.
The letter reads, "I would suggest you be prepared to call a special session two weeks after the Legislature adjourns May 29, should there be no action protecting the public from the repeat offender felons who will otherwise be released on the streets. The special session would be called for the express purpose of deferring the law for two years."
Senator Fair believes election year politics has played a role in Truth-In-Sentencing's troubles. In his letter he tells the Governor "there might be less foot dragging in 1999" after the election cycle has passed.- 30 -