Oklahoma Gov. Vetoes Mobile Home Park Liability Bill; Lawmakers Critical

April 17, 2012

Two Tulsa, Okla., lawmakers said they were disappointed by Gov. Mary Fallin’s veto of a bill that would have given civil liability protection to mobile home park operators who allowed residents to take shelter in their office during severe weather.

House Bill 2296 co-authors Sen. Brian Crain and Rep. Eric Proctor said the measure was approved unanimously in the House, and passed 40 to 1 in the Senate.

“Obviously, we are very disappointed by the veto,” said Crain, R-Tulsa. “In some mobile home parks, the office is the safest nearby structure during a severe storm. We felt this bill could have saved lives by encouraging those owners and managers to be good Samaritans.”

Proctor said the bill was requested by a constituent who sought shelter in her mobile home park’s office during a tornado, but was turned away because of liability concerns. HB 2296 would protect the owners from civil liability if they were acting in good faith in providing residents with shelter in the mobile home park office in the event of a weather emergency.

The veto messaged stated concerns that an owner would use the liability waiver to falsely advertise the availability of a tornado shelter to attract more customers.

Crain and Proctor disagreed.

“My faith teaches me that we are supposed to love our neighbor. This bill simply would have encouraged Oklahomans to be good neighbors,” said Proctor, D-Tulsa. “I was raised to never miss an opportunity to do the right thing. This bill would have encouraged mobile home park owners to do the right thing.”

Proctor said he would attempt to override the veto of HB 2296. If Proctor succeeds, Crain said he would seek an override in the Senate. A successful veto override would require support of two-thirds of the members in each chamber.

 

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