As I composed last week’s article regarding the need for a reform of the state budget process, I recalled a letter in which I made the case for reform and sent it to members of the House Majority Caucus during the spring of 2014. In that letter, I sought to point to the potential advantages […]
Think about the means by which a business prepares its budget. Each business unit submits its operational plans and budget for the next year to management. Unit leaders must document and defend their rationale for each request.
It was 2007 and House Speaker Lance Cargill’s call to me occurred a few weeks following the start of my first legislative session. As a legislative freshman, I had already observed the great power held by the Speaker of the House. I knew to take Cargill’s call very seriously.
It’s a state budget shortfall which some believe could run as high as one billion dollars. Despite this large number, next year’s budget downtown could prove beneficial to the taxpayers provided that policymakers learn from the lessons of the past.
The proposal went it into effect this Sunday; however, it was many years in the making. I first filed the proposal as a bill in February of 2010. It contained a simple concept: state government should never unnecessarily add to the financial burden of those who are trying to adopt.
Last week I wrote about how this is the time of year when legislators start to shore up their list of legislation for the next session. It’s a great time to remind your elected official of that bill idea you once gave to them.
We are at that time when legislators start to finalize their list of bills for the next legislative session. Some of these bills are sponsored based on feedback and suggestions from the constituency of the legislator. As many of these ideas are sent through email, I thought it a good time to share my list […]
This is the time of year during which it is customary for legislators to conduct hearings before the various legislative committees. This year I am participating as a sponsoring legislator for three of these hearings and am eligible to participate in additional hearings in my role as a member of the host committees.
He was a good legislator. He had the best of intentions, a driving desire to do right, and had staved off the co-opting forces of special-interest influence, personal pride, and self-interest. He had good ideas for reform and and the courage to act on them.
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.
Local news outlets recently highlighted the planned implosion of two buildings in downtown Oklahoma City. Media footage featured cheering crowds as the historic buildings fell.
I am preparing to wrap up my latest series of articles, the intent of which has been to focus almost exclusively on positive happenings. I’ve attempted to focus on the positive as a balance to my previous series of articles regarding some of the troubling outcomes from this year’s legislative session.
There are amazing benefits and learning opportunities available to those who closely monitor the state legislative process. I have learned much about human behavior and individual character through observation during those times when policy makers are under pressure.
I remember that day in 2009 as one of those busy days in which I struggled to keep up with work. I was almost certainly tempted to direct my legislative assistant to refuse all visitors so that I could get my work done; however, I didn’t feel right about doing that and instead said, “If […]
Regular readers of the state’s appropriations bill were greeted by something new as they opened this year’s version of the venerable legislation.
I have always believed that citizens are the best positioned to hold government accountable. Unlike legislators, citizens are not subject to co-option by bureaucracy, unlike the press, they need not fear loss of access if they take a tough stand against the actions of government.
As an office holder, it didn’t take long for me to observe the sharp tension between many of those who make up the grassroots, small government constituency and the State Chamber of Commerce.
It is perhaps the best news from this legislative year and a reform for which legislative and state leaders should rightly take credit. It could represent the key turning point in a return to ethical governance and restore a balance in favor of Oklahoma taxpayers and away from special interests.
It’s a program so effective that other states are seeking to copy it. It was featured on the local news last week as News 9’s Alex Cameron took his cameras inside the headquarters of Oklahoma’s new, unified IT entity. Cameron’s story, entitled “Keeping the State of Oklahoma Secure Against a Cyber Attack,” captured footage from […]
I knew the concern was legitimate, but believed the benefit from doing the right thing would outweigh the downside — as it always does.