It was one of the most interesting presentations I observed this year: a veteran state transportation official spoke to a mixed group of long term and new lawmakers.
Last week I wrote of the impending new legislative leadership. These new leaders will take office in the House and Senate in November.
Readers may have noticed my sparsest of references to the recently concluded legislative session. During the recent month I have given the events of this year deliberative thought and have been hesitant to speak out too quickly. I thought it best to think over the events of the year before writing too much about them. […]
In recent years I have been a part of an ongoing effort to repeal state laws. The most recent round of these repealers will be taking effect over the next few weeks.
I have enjoyed the opportunity to observe the leadership of five different Speakers of the House. I have attempted to learn all I can about the strengths and weaknesses of the different leadership styles and apply the lessons I have learned.
I wrote an article in 2011 about a new, disturbing trend of political correctness which I strongly believed presented a real danger to the ability of policymakers to engage in honest and open debate.
Like the many before it, this year’s Presidential election will be held in accordance with the constitutional principles of states’ rights as represented by the Electoral College. Unfortunately, this important practice is no longer something that we should take for granted.
During the past few weeks, legislators made numerous efforts to scrounge up extra cash for the government by eliminating tax deductions, increasing fees, and stepping up tax enforcement protocols.
Each year, members of the House cast votes impacting almost every aspect of life: from public safety to education to the expenditure of billions of your taxpayer dollars. These votes occur in two-minute segments during which time the lawmaker must make up his mind: will he vote yes, or no?
Recent legislative efforts for new taxation, coupled with the expansion of the Legislature’s own appropriated budget, remind me of a presentation I gave several years ago to a local civic group. As a recently elected office holder, I was excited about my new role as part of a transformative effort to make government less expensive […]
Last week I described the new tax plan brought forward by leaders of the House of Representatives. Their plan would have created a services tax. This tax will be assessed to you when you utilize services. Their plan would have put the state into the business of taxing services and this new tax will last […]
Over the past few days Oklahomans have been rightly alarmed by the late session, last minute tax increase attempts. This includes a tax increase proposal from House leaders to create a new tax on “services”.
I detest the politics of fear. I especially dislike those practices which leverage the fears of society’s most vulnerable. The fears are leveraged for the political benefit of those who are in the government class and who have an agenda such as preserving or growing their funding, increasing the size of government, or creating new […]
House Bill 3158 has now been signed into law by the Governor. Undoubtedly one of the most important proposals of this legislative session, it seeks to do away with any ambiguity regarding the Corporation Commission’s ability to enforce wastewater injection well cutback zones.
Every so often, I field this question from those who are interested in state government: “How can I see the state finances?”
As you read my article last week, I suspect you were rather horrified to realize the enormity of the Legislature’s mistake; they provided the scantest deliberation before approving Common Core standards.
I am receiving numerous emails regarding the state’s recent action to adopt new English and math standards for common education. The writers are specifically concerned about the confusing circumstances surrounding House Joint Resolution 1070, a proposal to accept the latest iteration of Oklahoma’s common education standards.
A lawmaker recently stopped by my office. We were elected in the same year and reflected on the performance of the numerous Speakers of the House who have served during our time as legislators. He had no problem sharing his honest point of view and his critique was mostly negative.
Last week I wrote about the challenge lawmakers face as they sort through their thousands of emails and attempt to find correspondence from their constituents. It’s a task made all the more daunting by the recent practice employed by advocacy groups: emailing all legislators instead of just those who represent them.
“Please vote no! Thank you!” I stared at these five words, the only words in an email that someone had taken the time to send to every member of the House of Representatives. I just started laughing. It was a welcomed reprieve from a tense deadline week — two weeks ago.