Last week I wrote of the devolution of openness in the Oklahoma Legislature.
Longtime readers will know that from the time of my election in 2006 until a few years ago I was quite bullish on the potential for legislative transparency.
State Chamber talks about this year’s budget issues inside Guthrie City Hall.
It was the last straw. For years, an area-based business owner had managed to deal with the stressful and potentially punitive sales tax collection requirements of the state, but a fiscally foolish decision by the governor and this year’s state legislature finally pushed him into a decision that will prove very costly to the state.
That was my first thought as I stared up at the monitor in the Appropriations Committee hearing room. The committee was just starting to consider the 2018 appropriations bill — a bill that was supposed to be House Bill 2401; however, the screen informed those of us on the committee that Senate Bill 860 was […]
Would you believe that the House Appropriations Committee approved the 2018 state budget without reading a single word of the bill?
As this legislative year concluded, those who had been trying to raise taxes gave up on all but the smallest pretense of following the Constitution.
Though far removed from reality, the legislative world does share some aspects with the real world.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today said the Legislature must return in special session to deal with the $215 million shortfall caused by a proposed smoking cessation fee being struck down.
Desiree Brown has had a change of heart and has announced her candidacy for the Oklahoma House of Representatives District 31.
It was the moment that left no doubt in my mind: the fix was in. Not only would this not be a year for reform but it would be the worst legislative year of my eleven. Midway through the legislative year, following the conclusion of a House session, a leading appropriations officials remained on the […]
It appears the Oklahoma Legislature will be heading to a special session after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Thursday the Legislature unconstitutionally passed the $1.50-per-pack cigarette fee during the final days of this year’s session.
Garry Mize announced on Wednesday he is running for Oklahoma House of Representatives District 31.
This year’s legislative session was dominated by a group of “raise taxes at all costs” ideologues who deployed aggressive strategies to advance an array of principle-betraying tax and fee increases upon the people of Oklahoma. Last week I wrote in some detail about the strategy of freshman pawning: a technique for getting new legislators to […]
Much of the time and energy of this legislative session was consumed by the push to raise taxes, even if those taxes were unconstitutional. This push was led by a group of “increase taxes at all cost” ideologues who deployed an array of tactics and strategies to convince their colleagues to raise taxes. One such […]
It was the speech that officially launched a new and dangerous ideology: do whatever it takes to raise taxes — even it it means ignoring the Constitution. In February, the Governor addressed the Legislature and called for an array of new and increased taxes. The Governor demonstrated savvy political sophistication and a modicum of Republican […]
This month I served on a panel for the Oklahoma Early Childhood Coalition Summit. We heard from experts who talked about how an “adverse childhood experience” (ACE) such as abuse, neglect, divorce, parental incarceration and poverty or witnessing domestic abuse or substance abuse can hinder children in school. Unfortunately, Oklahoma has one of the highest […]
In last week’s article I described my initial optimism for this year’s legislative session and detailed the opportunities afforded to this year’s legislature. I explained my initial belief that a new generation of legislative leaders were coming into leadership who understood the need for reform. My early optimism appeared justified. Appropriations officials held substantive and […]
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau (OKFB) is applauding lawmakers who are now a part of their 100 Percent Club for voting in favor of key legislation important to farmers, ranchers and rural Oklahoma during the 2017 session. Sen. AJ Griffin, who is chair of the Senate’s Rural Caucus, is among those being recognized by the organization […]