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Author Topic: Okla Legislature 2nd Worse in Nation  (Read 122204 times)
TheArtist
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« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2013, 06:06:20 pm »


Aaaand here we go.  I hadn't responded to some of the responses to my response  Tongue concerning funding for repairing the old capitol building.   People were saying we should fix it because of things like "grandeur" and "history", its a "beautiful building" etc.  But the first thing I thought of was that the Republicans will be the first to cut things like the arts which are closely related to the above.  They will also say it's not up to government, but the private sector to decide what happens to old, historic buildings, we as citizens should have no say.  But anyway, here we go.  Cut 4 mill a year for art and ask for 200 mill to fix their fancy offices.
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"When you only have two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."-Chinese proverb. "Arts a staple. Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter. Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind. Mans spirit grows hungry for art in the same way h
heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #61 on: January 24, 2013, 07:03:37 am »



Arts IS, by definition, part of the education process of a well rounded individual.  So, this is in keeping with the ignorance we see of the people we elect to the OK State legislature, and the continuing onslaught BY Oklahoma against education in general.  It is how they keep people voting for them based on their little sound bytes without knowing/understanding the background of an issue.  Related to that whole "no sense of history" I rant about from time to time... No appreciation of art.

Arts are a staple.  Like bread or wine or a warm coat in winter.  Those who think it is a luxury have only a fragment of a mind.


No surprise at all since we have uneducated, fragmented minds in the legislature.  Just SOP in Okie-land.


Had to use that "Artist"....it's just too good not to use.  (Also,... saw "The President's Lady" on TV several nights ago...can't remember which channel...)

« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 07:10:39 am by heironymouspasparagus » Logged

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« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2013, 09:45:43 am »

Oklahoma bill would restrict divorces

http://newsok.com/oklahoma-lawmakers-bill-would-restrict-divorces/article/3754596

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Promoting strong marriages is an “obvious” way to improve the health, education, public safety and economy in Oklahoma, Rep. Mark McCullough said Monday. McCullough is the author of House Bill 1548, which would not allow married couples to divorce on the grounds of incompatibility if there are minor children living in the home, if they have been married longer than 10 years or if either party objects. The bill is one of seven filed by legislators this year that would make it more difficult to divorce.
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Conan71
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« Reply #63 on: February 12, 2013, 10:34:34 am »

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“We're not here to be a cold, we're not here to be a judge — we're here to say the more the family fails the more government has to get involved, and that's just the facts,” McCullough said.

So much for being a small government Republican or not wanting government intrusion, eh?

So you force two people who can't stand each other to stay married if there are minors in the house or they've been married over 10 years? Gee that might not lead to domestic violence or anything.  Roll Eyes

As far as the Senate bill requiring parenting classes if there are minors, Tulsa District Court already requires it.  Divorce itself does not lead to juvenile delinquency, stupid narcissistic parents do.
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« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2013, 11:44:10 pm »

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Citing concerns about an attempt by a Muslim organization to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law, several Republican Oklahoma legislators have announced the creation of a counterterrorism caucus.

Republican state Rep. John Bennett of Sallisaw spearheaded a press conference on Thursday announcing the formation of the caucus.

Although Bennett described the group as bipartisan, no Democrats attended the press conference. The one Democratic representative Bennett cited as a member, Rep. Eric Proctor of Tulsa, said he was unsure of the purpose of the caucus.

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, Bennett says he's primarily concerned with the possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood operating in Oklahoma. He also criticized the Council on American-Islamic Affairs, an advocacy group with an Oklahoma chapter.
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« Reply #65 on: February 18, 2013, 10:55:47 am »

National conservative group's 'model legislation' ends up becoming law in Oklahoma

‘Stand Your Ground' law and Voter ID derive from national group's suggested legislation

http://newsok.com/national-conservative-groups-model-legislation-ends-up-becoming-law-in-oklahoma/article/3756210/?page=1

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A national organization criticized recently for churning out prewritten bills to state legislatures across the country has been a platform for some of the more controversial laws passed in Oklahoma in recent years.


“Model legislation” developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council or shared through conferences the council has hosted, played a part in a 2006 “Stand Your Ground” law that allows Oklahomans to use deadly force when threatened in public places, a 2010 resolution that prohibits any law from compelling a person to purchase health care and a state question that same year that requires voters to show an identification card before receiving a ballot.

Several laws under consideration now — including bills that allow for covenant marriages, that would challenge the teaching of global warming and evolution in public schools and that would reject key provisions of the new federal health care law — have identical versions that have either been passed or are also under consideration in GOP-led legislatures elsewhere.

“That's somebody out of state telling Oklahoma how we want our laws enacted and what we want,” said Richard Lerblance, a former Democratic Senator from Hartshorne. “It's not necessarily coming from the people in Oklahoma; it's coming from out of state.”

The council was among several national groups that advised Gov. Mary Fallin in 2011 to resist development of a state health insurance exchange, a primary tenet of the new federal health care law.

Other “model legislation” made available through the council, according to its website, includes ones that would reduce personal income taxes for residents — a top legislative priority this year for Fallin as well as the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives.

The authors of all seven bills filed to reduce the personal income tax said they were not influenced by the legislative exchange council also known as ALEC in drafting the bill language.

“As the author of most tax cut bills we had last year, I didn't have one meeting with ALEC,” said Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond. “My bills are my bills.”

A spokesman for the council was unable on Friday to provide a directory of Oklahoma lawmakers who currently pay membership dues, but directories from previous years indicate at least 25 state lawmakers, mostly Republican, have participated in previous conferences.

Gov. Mary Fallin was chosen as the council's “Legislator of the Year” in 1993, when she represented Oklahoma in the U.S. House of Representatives. The council will host its spring summit in Oklahoma City this May.

Insurance exchange

Emails provided to The Oklahoman earlier this month indicate a policy adviser for the council offered assistance to the state's Insurance Department in scrapping plans for a health exchange in 2011, but Fallin's spokesman, Alex Weintz, said the organization played no role in her decision to return $54 million in federal grants earmarked for exchange development.

“ALEC is a conservative organization, and Gov. Fallin is a conservative governor, so it is possible there is overlap in their agendas,” Weintz said. “Gov. Fallin's agenda was drafted without the help or input of ALEC.”

Oklahoma lawmakers who participate in council functions, and who sign their name to bills promoted by the council, said it's a common way for states to share resources and experiences.

Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said the council is but one of several national organizations where she goes to learn about what other states are doing to tackle problems also experienced in Oklahoma.

A bill that would give teachers the right to present the “scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories” such as global warming and evolution — authored by Kern two years ago and re-presented this session by Rep. Gus Blackwell, R-Laverne — is identical in language to bills recently passed in Louisiana, Texas, South Dakota and Tennessee.

“If one state has passed the bill and that bill has been found to be workable and has not been challenged by the court then you try to use that same bill,” Kern said. “They give us the model legislation and we give that model legislation to our staff and the staff looks at it and then they tweak it to fit in with existing laws that Oklahoma already has.”

It's the same process by which Oklahoma legislators have proposed deregulating environmental protection programs and a bill that requires drug testing for people who subscribe to welfare assistance.

“More eyes on a bill makes for better legislation,” said Bill Meierling, the council's senior director of public affairs. “Just because a model policy has been adopted by (the council) doesn't mean that policy is taken at large and pushed upon the people of Oklahoma. Instead, a legislator may find a piece, a ‘whereas clause' in our model policy, and say that makes sense.”

The council has come under fire lately for furthering the “Stand Your Ground” and voter ID laws in other states, but most of the criticism comes from those who complain it gives corporate interests unfettered access to lawmakers.

“What it really is a lot of, you know, ideologically right-wing and corporate entities who are pushing policies that help their bottom line,” said Gene Perry, policy analyst for the Oklahoma Policy Institute in Tulsa. “It's giving them access to lawmakers, and it's not really always clear where the idea's coming from or what's really behind it.”

For example, lawmakers who developed a template for “virtual school” bills at a recent council function did so at the same table as the private vendors who provide such services, part of the council's Education Task Force.

Rep. Ann Coody, R-Lawton, is chair of that task force and Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, is an alternate member. A Virginia-based company called K12 — which already provides virtual learning programs on a limited basis in Oklahoma — is a co-chair of the task force.

Stanislawski, who could not be reached Thursday and Friday, has filed a bill this year that would provide a more expansive virtual learning program through the state Education Department for vendors such as K12.

“This idea that corporations impose their wills on legislators is kind of unfair to legislators,” Meierling said. “Those legislators are the stopgap to make sure whatever legislation is enacted is representative of the people, and in fact the democratic process ensures if they don't they won't be in office anymore.”

He said though the council drafts legislation through a public-private partnership, model bills developed through the committees are proposed, adopted and voted on by the public sector participants only.
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DTowner
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« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2013, 04:15:54 pm »

National conservative group's 'model legislation' ends up becoming law in Oklahoma

‘Stand Your Ground' law and Voter ID derive from national group's suggested legislation

http://newsok.com/national-conservative-groups-model-legislation-ends-up-becoming-law-in-oklahoma/article/3756210/?page=1

Not sure I see why this is an issue or a cause for concern.  Numerous groups of all ideological/political persuasions draft model legislation for use by state legislators.  It is a way to get a better drafted end product (from a technical legislative drafting standpoint) and often results is more uniformity in laws among states.  Would you prefer that non-lawyer legislators, overworked legislative staff or lobbyist draft the bills (which also happens)?  The far bigger problem is the late night amendments hours before the close of the session that almost no one sees before voting.
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Townsend
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« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2013, 04:22:35 pm »

Not sure I see why this is an issue or a cause for concern.  Numerous groups of all ideological/political persuasions draft model legislation for use by state legislators.  It is a way to get a better drafted end product (from a technical legislative drafting standpoint) and often results is more uniformity in laws among states.  Would you prefer that non-lawyer legislators, overworked legislative staff or lobbyist draft the bills (which also happens)?  The far bigger problem is the late night amendments hours before the close of the session that almost no one sees before voting.

Take whatever you get from the article.  Whether you agree with the practice or not, it's what happens.  It won't change.
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nathanm
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« Reply #68 on: February 18, 2013, 04:27:46 pm »

The far bigger problem is the late night amendments hours before the close of the session that almost no one sees before voting.

That is also a problem, yes.

BTW, lobbyist-written and ALEC-written are one and the same. The only difference is who the lobbyist passes it to once they're done. So yes, I would prefer our overworked legislative staff draft the bill. Actually, I'd prefer we have enough legislative staff that they not be overworked.
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« Reply #69 on: February 19, 2013, 02:31:08 pm »

That is also a problem, yes.

BTW, lobbyist-written and ALEC-written are one and the same. The only difference is who the lobbyist passes it to once they're done. So yes, I would prefer our overworked legislative staff draft the bill. Actually, I'd prefer we have enough legislative staff that they not be overworked.

I was probably too vague by what I meant when I said overworked.  Like most states, Oklahoma's legislative session lasts only a few months.  During the session and the few months prior is when most bills are drafted.  It is not realistic for Oklahoma to have sufficient legislative staff or staff with sufficient breadth and depth of knowledge for the wide array of issues on which bills are drafted in a relatively short timeframe.

When I worked for a committee with the U.S. House of Representatives I often felt overwhelmed by the variety of issues I had assigned to me.  That led to a number of late nights with Congressional Research Service staffers learning about an area that was new to me.  I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to be a legislative staffer at the state level with a lot more areas to cover, less support resources with which to do it and a short window when all the action happens.

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nathanm
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« Reply #70 on: February 19, 2013, 04:09:36 pm »

I don't think the solution is to just use whatever the lobbyists can get into an ALEC package.
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"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration" --Abraham Lincoln
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« Reply #71 on: February 21, 2013, 10:04:55 am »

Oklahoma Senate panel approves bond debt limit

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-02-20/oklahoma-senate-panel-approves-bond-debt-limit

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma state senator convinced an appropriations committee Wednesday that the state should amend its constitution to limit how much it can borrow by issuing bonds, even as legislators face a crumbling Capitol and other potential state projects that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved a proposal from Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate, that would cap each year's debt service payments, which are essentially interest payments to people who hold state bonds. In practice, Brecheen's plan would put a limit on how many bonds the state could sell each year to fund major public projects.

Interest in potential state bond issues rose after Gov. Mary Fallin called for repairs to the Capitol, estimated to cost more than $150 million, in her State of the State address earlier this month. But many of her fellow Republicans, who control both houses of the state legislature, have been reluctant to pursue the costly idea.

Brecheen told the committee a limit could address those concerns.

"Many of us would possibly change our minds on issuance of new debt if we knew there was some limit," he said.

The proposal would ask Oklahoma voters to decide whether to limit the state's annual debt service payments to 4.5 percent of the previous five years' average general revenue. The bill also would allow the Legislature to declare emergencies and take on more debt.

At the moment, Oklahoma's annual debt service payments total less than $200 million, or about 3.4 percent of the latest revenue average, State Bond Advisor Jim Joseph told The Associated Press. Those payments come from roughly $1.5 billion in tax-supported debt, he said.

Several committee members asked if the limit would allow for the Capitol repairs, which many politicians see as increasingly necessary.

Joseph told the committee the state could safely issue $500 million more in bonds under the proposed limit — more than enough to fund Capitol repairs and complete other state projects, including a pop culture museum in Tulsa and the still-unfinished American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City.

"That's just a ballpark figure they could use in planning," Joseph later told the AP.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
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patric
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« Reply #72 on: March 10, 2013, 11:48:22 pm »

Oklahoma is on the verge of becoming a final destination for sick and unwanted horses.

Bills before the house and senate would allow horses to be slaughtered here, which would likely result in the importation of infectious equine diseases (and the end of any horse shows, once their contracts are up).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK-Qibd277k&gclid=CMSFye3587UCFSmoPAodCXkAbg  [/youtube]
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« Reply #73 on: March 11, 2013, 08:20:28 am »

Oklahoma is on the verge of becoming a final destination for sick and unwanted horses.

Bills before the house and senate would allow horses to be slaughtered here, which would likely result in the importation of infectious equine diseases (and the end of any horse shows, once their contracts are up).

I really hope they don't take another positive thing and turn it into death and disease.
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« Reply #74 on: March 11, 2013, 10:22:43 am »

I really hope they don't take another positive thing and turn it into death and disease.

Where was the positive thing?
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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
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