The Duncan Banner

Local News

February 9, 2014

Legislature’s first week proves challenging

DUNCAN — The Oklahoma Legislature’s first week was not business as usual.

On Wednesday, Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, stepped down as speaker of the House to pursue a seat in the U.S. Senate. In doing so, he created what Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Duncan, bluntly called “chaos.”

With Shannon’s resignation, Speaker Pro Tem Mike Jackson, R-Enid, became interim speaker until the representatives elect a new speaker on Monday.

Whoever is elected will remain as speaker until the November general election.

Johnson said Shannon’s decision to resign as speaker is one of several things that made for an interesting first week of session.

“It wasn’t business as usual,” Johnson said. “We had weather working against us, new technology working against us and a scramble for a new speaker working against us.”

Lawmakers this year will use a new voting technology. Instead of the traditional mechanical voting, they will use electronic tablets.

Johnson said this has been part of the challenge for the new session. Much of the first week was spent with the representatives learning how to use the new technology and working out bugs in the system. When Johnson went to vote, he initially wasn’t in the system as a voting member. As a result, he had to vote in a thumbs up/thumbs down method, with his votes being manually entered.

“It can be challenging at times,” Johnson said. “We’re dealing with that on top of the chaos of not having a speaker. And at the same time, you have people running for speaker of the House.”

Among those vying for the position is Jackson. Johnson said if Jackson is elected as speaker, it will leave the speaker pro tem position open.

“Then we’ll do it all over again,” Johnson said.

By comparison,  the first week was quiet in the Oklahoma Senate, where the  leadership positions will stay intact,  said Sen. Corey Brooks, R-Washington.   

Even so, events in the House had that attention of everyone in the Senate, Brooks noted.

“Who the next speaker is will effect everyone,” Brooks said. “We could get someone radically different.”

Text Only
Local News
  • jimmyseggstore.jpg Jimmy’s Egg set to open June 9

    A new Jimmy’s Egg restaurant will open in Duncan on June 9 and will begin interviewing job applicants later this month, the restaurant’s general manager said on Tuesday.
    The restaurant will seat about 150 and will employ 33 people, said Libby Shirra, the new general manager.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-15 Odesse Barnes Mug crop.jpg Fourth man accused of hiding Lane murder weapon

    The Stephens County District Attorney’s Office on Monday charged a fourth person in the Christopher Lane murder case.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Slaying of former Duncan doctor shocks friends

    The deaths of former Duncan physician Bill Corporon and his teenage grandson at the hand of a onetime Ku Klux Klan leader left the beloved doctor’s friends in Oklahoma heartbroken and shocked on Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • file 3-17 BENCH Miles Sterling.jpg Competency hearing begins in Bench case

     A hearing to determine if Miles Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for murder began Monday in Stephens County District Court.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Skeletal remains found in pond

    More skeletal remains that may be linked to the death of a woman in 2006 have been discovered in a pond northeast of Bray this weekend, authorities said Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Commissioners choose different bid in electric project

    A decision made a week ago was changed on Monday when Stephens County commissioners found liability coverage would not be provided.

    April 15, 2014

  • Tornado touches down in Stephens County, minor damage reported

    A tornado that touched down briefly east of Bray knocked down some power lines and a few trees, but did not injure anyone, Stephens County District 1 Commissioner Darrell Sparks said Monday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Oddesse Barnes Another charge filed in Lane shooting death

    The Stephens County District Attorney's Office filed an accessory after the fact of murder in the firstdegree charge against a 22-year-old Duncan man in relation to the shooting death of Australian native Christopher Lane.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judge Russell reverses course, stays put

    If the political instincts of G. Brent Russell are correct, attorney Ken Graham will be a shoe-in to be the next District Judge in Stephens County.

    April 14, 2014

  • Bill Corporon, former Duncan physician, slain in Kansas with grandson

    Dr. William Corporon, who practiced medicine for years in Duncan before moving to Kansas, and his 14-year-old grandson were shot to death on Sunday in Overland Park, Kan. by a gunman who went on to kill a third person at a nearby assisted living center.


    April 13, 2014