Senator Mark Allen
State Capitol Room 415
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
(405) 521-5576; email@example.com
For Immediate Release: June 27, 2014
Last year Governor Fallin vetoed HB 1941, a bail bondsmen bill Representative Bennett and I authored and tried to pass for three years. The bill would have leveled the playing field for the free market to work by allowing bail bondsmen to write bonds in all counties in our state rather than just in the counties they reside. Previously, bondsmen were only allowed to write bonds for no more than 10 defendants per year in the other 76 counties (“Ten Bond Rule”).
Last year the bill passed both the House and the Senate, but Governor Fallin said she had to veto the bill even though she was personally supportive of free enterprise and the ability of bondsmen to conduct unlimited business across the state. This was because there was pending litigation in the Oklahoma Supreme Court regarding the Ten Bond Rule. A lower state court in Sequoyah County had ruled that the Ten Bond Rule was unenforceable, and we had to wait for the Supreme Court to determine whether the lower court’s decision applied to all 77 counties in the state.
The Supreme Court decided the case on 6/25/2013 in Dowell v. Pletcher, case number 110774. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court, finding it correctly ruled that enforcement of the Ten Bond Rule lies with the Insurance Commissioner and not the Court Clerk.
I’m happy to report that this year’s bail bondsmen bill, HB 2407, authored by Representative John Bennett and myself, was signed into law by Governor Fallin on April 16, 2014. The Governor graciously consented to a ceremonial bill signing this past week.
Until next time,
Senator Mark Allen
In the photo: Jonathan Bennett, Representative John Bennett, Governor Fallin. 2nd row: Dudley Golsby, Raymond Merrill, Gary Huddleston, Senator Mark Allen.