Sometimes voters elect officers on a platform of reform and innovation. The new office holder starts out with the best intentions, excited and ready to implement new ideas, but over time he changes into a self-centered career politician whose primary motivation becomes the extension of his political life.
As a newly elected official I was excited, optimistic, and ready to change the world. When I gave a presentation to a local civic group in 2002, I talked about taking on the status quo and bringing reform on behalf of the taxpayers. I could point to any number of abuses and the roadmap to […]
Imagine paying thousands of dollars every year in property taxes and at the same time watching your roads literally crumble under the strain of increasing traffic. Unfortunately, some won’t have to imagine this because I’ve just described your reality.
With the recent news coverage of the government’s inappropriate use of the IRS, citizens have paid special attention to practices within various federal agencies.
Before this year’s legislative session, pundits opined about the divided Republican caucus in the House. The 2012 session had not been an easy one and those pundits enjoyed pointing to the allegedly fractured group of Republican Representatives and perhaps predicting ensuing chaos. Those predictions did not come true in part due to extremely effective leadership […]
As the legislative session came to a close last week, it was my job to filter incoming bills. Lobbyists are notorious for putting dramatic last minute proposals into bills in the final days of session. They hope their changes will go unnoticed and may write the new law so that it is difficult to understand. They […]
All indications point to this being the last week of this year’s legislative session. The Legislature will go home a week early. This is good news for Oklahomans as not only will there be cost savings but all Oklahomans should breathe a sigh of relief when the Legislature stops making new laws a week ahead […]
Before I print my update for this week, I have attached a press release from the Governor’s office regarding her government consolidation measures which I authored in the House on her behalf and which were signed into law on Friday. It has been an honor to advance these proposals this year and I shall endeavor […]
On Thursday, the Governor and legislative leaders announced an agreement for the composition of the state’s next budget. Capitol insiders as hard pressed to recall a time when these groups reached a budget agreement this early in the year.
Frequent readers of these articles will recall the series of updates I have written about the significant progress the state is making in regards to paving roads and building bridges.
This is a big week in the Legislature. It is a key deadline week. By this Thursday another set of proposals will fail to advance past the deadline and will become dormant for this year.
This past week, I witnessed one of the most significant county road funding policy success since taking office as State Representative.
You may have seen recent news reports detailing how Britain’s national debt now equals 90% of its entire economy. The Daily Mail published a graph showing the acceleration of the UK’s debt since 1992. I noted that although on a larger scale, the UK debt accelerated at a significantly slower rate than Oklahoma’s state debt […]
Oklahoma legislators have become rather accustomed to receiving emails and calls from those who are intensely worried about ongoing federal overreach. Many of these contacts are from those who want state officials to do whatever is possible to stop the federal government’s attempted expansion into the healthcare venue. Based on this input, I know it […]
Consider the following statement one might hear if they stay around the capitol very long: “If there is one consistent thing about that legislator, it is that he is consistently inconsistent!”
In 2010, the state electorate gave a vote of confidence to a new wave of state-level office holders. Nearly all of these candidates ran on a conservative platform of small government. I have closely observed the performance of these new office holders. Would they follow through on their conservative promises or would they become co-opted […]
Aside from the last week of the legislative session, this is probably the busiest week in the legislative year. Bills authored by those who serve in the House of Representatives must win approval by the entire House by the end of the week, or they are not eligible for additional consideration.
Last Thursday was the deadline for House committees to approve bills. Any bills not approved by committee before or on that day must wait a year for any additional action.
For years, the conservative fiscal values of Oklahomans were upheld because state officials were unable to issue general bonded indebtedness without first receiving approval through a vote of the people. This is because Oklahoma’s Constitution requires a balanced budget and prevents debt issuance without a vote of the people.
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”