There are many within state government who understand that the long term fiscal impact of the federal health care law will be devastating. While the federal government may attempt to incur much of the expense up front, the policy clearly intends to shift massive amounts of cost to state government.
Each day, taxpayers give up millions of dollars due to cost of living increases because of government regulation and taxation. Most taxpayers never realize that the government is the reason they are paying so much. This is because of the hidden costs of government that are baked into every aspect of our lives.
This article is a continuation of last week’s column that answers some of the questions I am receiving about next week’s elections.
As election day approaches, I continue to receive questions from constituents about the items on the ballot and the election process.
You have heard that sunshine is the best disinfectant to corruption in government. In recent years, the House of Representatives Government Modernization Committee has approved numerous transparency initiatives to shine as much light on government activities as possible. We know that when the taxpayer can see how the government spends money, the odds are much […]
On November 14, I will take the oath of office for the next term of the Legislature. I have now served six years as your State Representative and I am at the halfway point of the time I am allowed to serve under Oklahoma’s term limits laws. In reflecting on the past six years, I […]
When a lawmaker decides to accept lobbyist gifts, he enters into a type of welfare system. Like all welfare systems, this tends to destroy the independence of the human spirit and makes the lawmaker dependent on the largess of others. Certainly not all lawmakers who take gifts lose their independence, but the practice of frequently […]
Back in February I wrote an article describing the influence of certain lobbyists over the legislative process. I wrote that lobbyists, ” . . . are professional relationship manipulation experts and expert strategists, and they know the pressure points to push to get a key lawmaker’s vote. Their attempts to kill a good bill appear […]
I believe our nation’s founding fathers designed Congress to be made up of citizens from varied professions and occupations. This concept was applied to the legislatures of the several states, including Oklahoma. Legislators naturally tend to gravitate to the area of policy to which they are familiar and I enjoy watching the contributions made from […]
The issue of pork earmarks or legislative pass-throughs has received a bit of public scrutiny within the past few weeks after the Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs, an Oklahoma City television station, and one of the state’s largest newspapers investigated and criticized the ongoing practice.
Imagine the challenge faced by the citizen who feels the call to become civically involved and hold government accountable only to be denied access to transparency records to which he is legally entitled. Or put yourself in the place of the conscientious journalist who has been trained to do the necessary research to present a […]
Oklahoma taxpayers received some great news as part of a recently released report from Oklahoma State Chief Information Officer Alex Pettit. During the last legislative interim, the Government Modernization Committee was told the state’s information technology consolidation plan allowed taxpayer to realize 30 million dollars of savings each year. CIO Pettit’s latest report has upgraded […]
Last week I described the future model of higher education as being mostly free to use. This begs the obvious question. Who will pay for this education? After all, nothing is really free.
I have found it interesting that it has taken so long for technology to bend the cost curve for Oklahoma higher education entities. Just as in many other areas of the business world, Oklahoma universities should have developed the ability to provide effective administration with far fewer people due to advances in technology. In the […]
There were some positive outcomes from this year’s legislative session. This includes the scheduled closure of two high profile state government corporate welfare funds. Closing these funds removes state government from meddling in the free market where it all too often creates unintended negative consequences.
Earlier this month I enjoyed the opportunity to attend an event in recognition of the placement of the new Compressed Natural Gas pump at the Love’s Travel Stop located at I-35 and Hwy. 33 on the east side of Guthrie. Officials from Chesapeake Energy and Love’s hosted the event.
This year’s legislative session recently ended. This was when legislators experience a tremendous amount of stress as they work against the constitutionally mandated closure of the session.
Oklahoma state government will become more efficient and transparent as a result of a series of recently approved legislation. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has signed a number of government modernization initiatives originating from the House Government Modernization Committee.
These email updates frequently opine about the need to modernize government processes. I certainly want to practice what I preach and apply these same concepts to my office.
Over the next few days, the Legislature will consider a proposal to reduce Oklahoma’s income tax. This year, Oklahoma state government will have more than $200 million of new growth revenue to spend. I believe it is vital for this revenue to go back to the taxpayers who over financed state government. This is important, […]