In last week’s article I described my initial optimism for this year’s legislative session and detailed the opportunities afforded to this year’s legislature. I explained my initial belief that a new generation of legislative leaders were coming into leadership who understood the need for reform. My early optimism appeared justified. Appropriations officials held substantive and […]
Perhaps you read these articles a few months ago and took note of my optimism about this year’s legislative session. As the legislative year progressed, you likely also noticed my sentiment devolve into strong disapproval. I have imagined the confusion of the reader who in the past six months suffered the whiplash effect of three […]
As this year’s legislative session drew to a close, legislators commenced a rapid fire process of throwing out various tax increase proposals in an apparent attempt to see what they could get before those impacted by the new taxes could engage. This made an absolute mockery of any semblance of transparency in the legislative process.
As I think back over the recently concluded legislative session, I recall an especially notable moment during one of the frequent tax increase sessions of the Appropriations and Budget Committee.
Over the course of the past several months I have written about an array of tax increases attempted by the legislature. As this year’s legislative session has been brought to an end, I thought it a good idea to describe the tax increase attempts that were not successful.
Last week I wrote about two new taxes that were recently approved by the Legislature. Because these new taxes did not meet the requirements of the Constitution, I believe they will be thrown out by the courts.
The Legislature has left town and we can now assess the damage from this year’s session.
For the fourth year in a row it has been my responsibility to vote against the state’s general appropriations proposal, commonly referred to as the state budget bill.
Last Monday, legislative leaders positioned Oklahoma to join one other state and several left-leaning cities (including Chicago and Pasadena) in enacting a tax on Netflix users and users of other streaming video services including Hulu and Amazon Video.
OKLAHOMA CITY – House Government Modernization Chairman Jason Murphey today expressed his strongest opposition to the impending introduction of a legislative plan to put a new tax on the use of information technology services. “Earlier today, Governor Fallin released an article entitled ‘Computer Science, Coding Skills in High Demand by Businesses across Our State’ in […]
It is the time of year when legislators file their legislation for the next session. Every so often I feel it important to write an article which describes the process by which a bill becomes law.
In January, the state will issue its financial statements for the 2016 fiscal year. These are perhaps the most important documents produced by state government. They will show the actual effect of the energy sector’s downturn on state government spending.
Earlier this year, the attentive listener may have overheard the following emanating from their local politician: “I sure hope I don’t have an opponent this year. It would be nice to have a free pass this time.”
Last week I wrote some advice to new office holders based on lessons I’ve learned over the past few years. Here is some more, for what it is worth.
It is at this time of year when the House of Representatives benefits from the inclusion of the new members, collectively known as The Freshmen.
Last Tuesday I took note of a rather exciting event. Hidden in the news of election day, only careful observers noted a press release from the incoming Speaker of the House. He used the occasion to announce something exceptional: he will reduce the amount his office spends on personnel by nearly $500,000.
This is the time of year when many of last session’s approved legislative initiatives take effect. Traditionally, this means many new laws are going into place. All too often, these are unnecessary laws that create additional fees, new government debt and inappropriate spending, unnecessary and confusing regulation, or worse. Unfortunately, this year is no different. […]
I have learned much about human behavior and individual character by watching and observing legislators — especially during the chaotic “deadline weeks.”
Imagine the scenario of the business owner who manages his business in a flurry of hurried and ill-thought-out decisions. Actually, this may not be too hard to imagine as I suspect you have seen the bad outcomes from those who operate their business in this manner. They gain a bad reputation and are likely to […]
Earlier this year I wrote about one of the major factors which led to state government’s recent “day of fiscal reckoning.” I described the decades of financial malfeasance by state officials such as their action of giving away retirement system benefits with no way to pay for them.