by Jan Goehring
In an effort to make the legislature more accessible to working citizens and students, the Oklahoma House held its first Saturday session, according to an article on NewsOK.com. More than 100 people filled the gallery including a number of students. Speaker Lance Cargill deemed the day a success and hoped to do it again next year. He also encouraged parents to bring their children to the capitol for the Saturday session to improve their civic knowledge.
At NCSL we're not aware of any other legislatures that have scheduled a Saturday session for the convenience of the public. Saturday sessions usually come at the end of sessions, the clock is ticking and the legislature hasn't finished its work. We'll add this to our list of ideas for what legislators can do to improve public understanding of their work.
Onlookers were treated to some real "old fashioned" lawmaking when the power went out for about an hour. The housemembers pressed on without lights, microphones, electronic roll call voting or laptops. A dozen bills passed that day. Visitors had a chance to meet with legislators after the session.