HB 1412 Advances

In a Disappointing Vote, 
The States’ Rights Committee 
OK’s a Proposed Anti-UN Law

Next Stop: The House 
Calendar Committee

A packed conference room was the setting for this week’s meeting of the States’ Rights Committee of the State House of Representatives. The committee convened this afternoon to consider a slate of several proposed measures. One of them was House Bill 1412, the proposed new Anti-UN law authored by Rep. Sally Kern (pictured above).

HB 1412 was approved by the committee on a party line vote, 9 to 4. Voting against the bill were Representatives Ed Cannaday (Porum), Kay Floyd (OKC), Kevin Matthews (Tulsa), and Mike Shelton (OKC). These hardy souls deserve our thanks and encouragement! 

According to House Rules, the bill will now advance to the House Calendar Committee. (More on that in a future post).

Committee chairman Lewis Moore invited Rep. Kern to offer a description of her bill, which she said was intended to raise awareness about “United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development.” She described Agenda 21 as a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control. Many of the components of Agenda 21, she said, were first implemented by the federal government under the administration of President Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush.

Rep. Kern said HB 1412 was designed to raise awareness about the threat to individual property rights that is (in her mind) posed by Agenda 21.

After some initial questioning by the members of the committee, Rep. Moore allowed ten minutes for public comments on the bill.  Bill Bryant, president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association, reiterated the Talking Points that have been offered on the pages of this blog. Opposing points of view were offered by 4 Anti-UN activists.

Then, Rep. Moore allowed 4 minutes for members of the committee to debate the bill.

During the debate and question portion of the hearing, the Democratic representatives led the fight against HB 1412. 

Rep. Floyd argued that there are existing protections in state and federal law that effectively guard against infringement of property rights. In response, Rep. Kern replied that HB 1412 is needed because it will  “raise awareness” about Agenda 21.

Rep. Floyd also questioned the vague language of the proposed law. She asked Rep. Kern to explain how Oklahoma citizens could know which public policies can be traced to UN Agenda 21 — since Agenda 21 is a 300+ page document covering a variety of subjects. Rep. Floyd expressed concern that local elected officials, public administrators, and others would not automatically know how to determine a connection between their local sustainability policies and Agenda 21. There is no easy way to discern such linkages.

A similar concern was raised about the portion of HB 1412 which would prohibit public commerce with non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) which are “accredited” by the United Nations. Rep. Kern was asked if she has an inventory of which organizations would be included on this potential blacklist. In reply, Rep. Kern said such a list exists, and there are about 600 organizations on it. But, she did not bring a copy of the list to the hearing. Observers were left to wonder about the scope of the bill’s prohibitions.

Rep. Cannaday asked Rep. Kern about her motive for introducing HB 1412. If her purpose is to raise awareness, he asked, why was her measure introduced in the form of a proposed addition to state statutes rather than a simple resolution? And, if she intends for the measure to have the force of law, why does the bill not describe any penalties for violations of the law? Rep. Kern replied that her measure was designed to have more impact than a simple resolution. Penalties, she said, could be added by future legislation.

Rep. Matthews asked if the proposed law didn’t amount to state interference in the public policy decisions of local governments. Rep. Kern insisted her bill would protect local cities and counties from interference by the United Nations and its “accredited” NGO’s.

“Was HB 1412 requested by the Oklahoma Municipal League?,” Rep. Cannady asked. No, said Rep. Kern. She did not ask the OML to support her bill, and they have not approached her.

Rep. Kern insisted that HB 1412 would not impact the ability of state universities and public libraries to acquire knowledge resources from UN agencies because libraries and universities do not make public policy.

{Section 1.C of HB 1412 states that, “Since the United Nations has accredited or enlisted numerous nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to United Nations Agenda 21/Sustainable Development around the world, the state and all political subdivisions of the state shall not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, receive funds contracting services or give financial aid to or from any nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations accredited or enlisted by the United Nations.” The term “political subdivision” is defined to include any state, county, city, town, municipality, district, public local entity, public-private partnership or any other public entity of the state, a county, city, town or municipality.)

All in all, the results of the committee’s vote were quite disappointing.

The next stop for HB 1412 will be the Calendar Committee of the State House of Representatives. More information about the Calendar Committee will be featured in a future post on this blog.

If you have a minute to offer a “Thank You” to the 4 brave committee members who voted “No” on HB 1412, here are their email addresses and office phone numbers …

Rep. Ed Cannaday … ed.cannaday@okhouse.gov … (405) 557-7375
Rep. Kay Floyd … kay.floyd@okhouse.gov … (405) 557-7396
Rep. Kevin Matthews … kevin.matthews@okhouse.gov … (405) 557-7406
Rep. Mike Shelton … mikeshelton@okhouse.gov … (405) 557-7367

This is not the end of our efforts to oppose House Bill 1412! 

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