Last week the Oklahoma Senate stunned many Oklahomans by approving a proposal to counteract part of the constitutional principle of states’ rights. When the founding fathers designed our Constitution, they included an important mechanism to ensure that smaller states such as Oklahoma were represented in the Electoral College by giving each state two Electoral College […]
You probably won’t see the following story reported anywhere else in the press, as capitol reporters have been busy reporting on the ongoing race for Speaker of the House, but last week the members of the House of Representatives participated in a historic event.
Last week I wrote that it should be the goal of the Legislature to reduce the number of laws. Over the years, the number of state statutes has greatly increased, even though voters elected a new wave of small government conservatives.
A little over a year ago, the new leadership of the House of Representatives created a new committee structure.
I have seen some rather shocking decision-making process abuses in my time as a legislator and my observations have easily confirmed the famous Calvin Coolidge quote, “Nothing is easier than spending the public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody.”
Those who have lived on the west side of Guthrie are skilled at recognizing the signs of subsiding flood waters from the periodic flooding of the Cottonwood Creek. We know the flood waters have reached their peak when a thin line of debris builds up at the edge of the waterline which suddenly seems a […]
It is now officially election year. In just a few weeks, candidates for office will file for a host of state and county offices.
Throughout the past few weeks I have described the successful passage of Senate Bill 630 to stop governments such as cities and school districts from awarding contracts according to tight specifications designed to eliminate competition.
This year Governor Fallin signed SB 630 to close down the wasteful practice of sole specing. Those who make money from sole specing didn’t appear to be paying attention to the bill as it passed without opposition. After Governor Fallin signed the bill, they realized what had happened and charged their lobbyists with the unenviable […]
Last week I described the abuse by which various area government entities have been designing construction specifications so as to limit competition and award a specific vendor. This drives up the cost to you the taxpayer. You may read that article at HD31.org/554.
Almost one year ago, Senator Clark Jolley asked me to assist him in bringing an end to what appeared to be a practice of legalized corruption. Having worked with Jolley on numerous modernization and efficiency measures, I have learned to pay close attention to his concerns. He frequently proposes cost saving and efficiency reforms, and […]
This year I have witnessed the quickest deployment and implementation of a major state governmental process that I have ever seen. I think this success provides the ideal state counterpart example to the shortcomings demonstrated by the federal HealthCare.gov website.
In past years I was the recipient of frustrated correspondence from the local constituency. Oklahoma residents were being denied access to Black Friday sale items and they wanted the Legislature to do something about it.
Next month I will chair a legislative hearing convened to consider the training qualifications of county officials. The hearing was requested by State Representative Marty Quinn. Quinn wants the committee to take testimony and consider needed reforms in this area.
Oklahomans are shocked and disappointed as press accounts describe massive pay raises being rapidly handed out to state agency executives. In some cases those raises have amounted to more than $40,000 per year.
On multiple occasions, a member of the House District 31 constituency inquires about the impact upon common education of Oklahoma lottery proceeds. Many believed that once voters approved the lottery it would quench common education’s insatiable appetite for money. No doubt, based on viewing lottery advocacy commercials, they thought the lottery would have more of […]
This year I have enjoyed membership in the rotation of presiding officers for the House of Representatives. The presiding officer of the House presides over business in the absence of the Speaker of the House. On behalf of the Speaker, this person conducts the session according to the rules of the House, affixes his signature […]
OSSAA provides case-in-point of legalism trumping common sense – > Consider this observation. An increase in the number of laws, policies, rules and procedures produces a corresponding decrease in the application of common sense.
I recently received an assistance request from an individual worried about an impending action by a state agency. He was afraid they were about to approve a policy permitting a certain group of people to ignore a recently approved state law. He wanted to view the agenda of the agency’s next board meeting but couldn’t […]
I have developed a healthy fear of crisis policy making. Crisis policy making occurs when politicians attempt to avert a purported crisis by approving a far-reaching new law or new big government program.