Oklahoma may allow veterinarians to elect state board members
House Bill 1313, introduced Jan. 20, would remove the power of the governor to appoint veterinary members to the board. Instead, the state veterinarian would get a seat on the board, and other veterinary members would be elected by veterinarians in each congressional district.
Previously, the governor appointed six members to the board, which consisted of five veterinarian members and one lay person to represent the general public. One of the five veterinary members must be an equine practitioner, and another a large-animal practitioner. The lay member would still be appointed by the governor, according to legislation.
Nominations for the veterinarian-elected members would have to be submitted by petition, according to legislation, with signatures from at least 10 veterinarians in their congressional district. The subsequent election would take place by secret ballot and mailed to the veterinary board. Veterinarians serve on the board of a term of five years, and no more than two consecutive terms.
Veterinarians appointed to the board by the governor prior to November 2011 would be permitted to finish out their terms if the bill passes, according to legislation.