The battle over cockfighting did not end with the passage of State
Question 687, the anti-cockfighting initiative, in November. Immediately
after voters handily approved the measure, state Senator Frank Shurden
(D-Henryetta), the legislature's leading cockfighting proponent, announced
his intention to introduce two bills to gut the ban and overturn the will
of the people. One would weaken allow the possession of fighting animals
and gut the penalty provision for the entire statute, reducing the
felony-level penalties to misdemeanor level, and a second would legalize
cockfighting in all of the counties that had a majority vote against SQ
Fortunately, Rep. John Trebilcock (R-Broken Arrow) is fighting back
with his own bill, House Joint Resolution 1006. HJR 1006 would require a
three-fourths majority of both legislative houses to amend or repeal a law
put on the books through the initiative petition process. Says Rep.
Trebilcock, "The whole idea of the initiative petition process is for the
people of Oklahoma to accomplish something that the Legislature refuses to
do. The idea that the Legislature could just then turn around and
immediately change what the people had just said they desired doesn't make
sense to me."
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