Family fights for bill on Capitol steps

Monday, April 7th 2008, 6:49 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

The family of Steffanie Collings rallied at the state Capitol on Monday, urging lawmakers to act on a bill named after their loved one. 

Steffanie's law would force insurance companies to continue covering routine care for patients undergoing clinical trials. 

The bill is stuck in committee, with only one meeting left before the bill dies.

"The clock is ticking bad," Monte Collings, Steffanie's father said. "I just wish I had more time off to come fight with this and do more."

Brain cancer killed Steffanie Collings just last month.  Now a bill named after her could die in committee. The bill is stuck in a committee chaired by state Rep. Ron Peterson (R-Broken Arrow).

"We know that Steffanie's looking down and she'd want for this law to be passed," Steffanie's father said.

The crowd chanted in unison for the law to be passed, pressing for lawmakers to do the right thing.

 "I say to you today, Representative Ron Peterson, no more game," Nancy Thomason, of the Oklahoma Brain Tumor Foundation said. "No more partisan political game-playing. We demand to be heard."

Peterson has refused to hear the bill and tells NEWS 9, he will not hear it in the last committee meeting on Wednesday, either.

"It's my decision as leadership and my decision backed by leadership that we want to do something different then move that bill forward," Peterson said.

Peterson's still pushing for his House Bill 3111, that also died in committee.  HB 3111 would require a cost-benefit analysis and a one year-wait before the committee would vote on any insurance mandate.  Peterson is negotiating to get his bill pushed through and said he'll work on Steffanie's law, even though he won't hear it now.  

If Steffanie's law dies in committee, it's not over. State Rep. Kris Steele (R-Shawnee), the House author, could add Steffanie's law to another bill as an amendment.