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November 21, 2017, 12:14:27 am
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Author Topic: Republican Seeks To End Okla. Marriage Initiative Funding  (Read 1342 times)
Conan71
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« on: December 21, 2015, 04:17:02 pm »

Finally an Oklahoma Republican who makes sense:

Quote
Bill filed to end funding for Marriage Initiative

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma lawmaker has filed a bill to end funding for the Marriage Initiative, which has cost more than $74 million since it was enacted in 1999.

Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, filed Senate Bill 915 to end funding to the program, which works to reduce the divorce rate and enhance family stability.

Millions in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families dollars have gone to the program.

“I believe strong marriages are the backbone of strong families, but I don’t think the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative makes sense,” Loveless said. “The data just doesn’t back up their claim of helping Oklahoma families.”

Former Gov. Frank Keating signed the measure into law in 1999. It was billed as a way to reduce the divorce rate and the societal costs associated with divorce.

“I don’t think marriage counseling is a function of government,” Loveless said.

The program was expanded to focus on family stability.

Plenty of services are available in the faith community, and the Marriage Initiative services duplicate those efforts, Loveless said.

“In addition to the program’s lack of results, I have to ask myself, is it the proper role of government to be involved in the relationship business?’’ Loveless said. “As a conservative, I believe we should be focusing our efforts on limiting government’s role in our lives, not welcoming it into our most intimate relationships.” (Where was this guy on the issue of gay marriage?)

The measure directs the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to terminate all “activities, advertisements, and similar functions relating to the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative. No funds from any source shall be used for such programs. Any funds budgeted for such programs but not expended by the effective date of this act shall be used to support other Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs.”

The legislation came as a surprise to the Department of Human Services, which contracts for service for the program, said Sheree Powell, DHS spokesman.

The agency did not request the legislation, she said.

The largest contractor is Public Strategies.

While supporters did not expect to see the bill filed, it is an opportunity to better educate others about the work the program does in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, said Mary Myrick, president and CEO of Public Strategies.

Kendy Cox is director of community-based training services for the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative. “The majority of our services are directed toward and aligned with the needs of vulnerable families served by the Department of Human Services and other agencies, including couples who have children with disabilities, foster and adoptive parents, financially vulnerable new parents, incarcerated individuals and TANF clients,” she said. “We also have programs for engaged couples, fathers, couples co-parenting after divorce, and youth in high school.”

Research on the program indicates that it is effective in increasing family stability, Cox said.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/vision-package-cuts-leave-strong-projects-for-later/article_edd25b58-2603-5ce5-943e-ac0461411cae.html
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"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first” -Ronald Reagan
cannon_fodder
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2015, 08:14:18 am »

Good though, good goal... but ineffective and from a conservative perspective, not a core function of government. Just like spending tens of millions to prevent gay marriage isn't a function of government. Or fighting other "moral" crusades.

I am not aware of anyone in Oklahoma who went to the mandated marriage counseling and decided not to get divorced. I know people that went through the counseling and saw the process dragged out. But, unfortunately, none that decided the government was right and they were wrong.

Not to bash marriage counseling. I'm sure it can be very beneficial and certainly "saving" marriages is a good thing for the individuals and society. But I doubt forced counseling is every very effective.
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Conan71
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2015, 09:31:47 am »

Good though, good goal... but ineffective and from a conservative perspective, not a core function of government. Just like spending tens of millions to prevent gay marriage isn't a function of government. Or fighting other "moral" crusades.

I am not aware of anyone in Oklahoma who went to the mandated marriage counseling and decided not to get divorced. I know people that went through the counseling and saw the process dragged out. But, unfortunately, none that decided the government was right and they were wrong.

Not to bash marriage counseling. I'm sure it can be very beneficial and certainly "saving" marriages is a good thing for the individuals and society. But I doubt forced counseling is every very effective.

As you well know, the pre-marriage counseling didn’t manage to save my second marriage.  It wasn’t mandated per-se but we got a hefty discount on our marriage license as an incentive to enroll in and complete the class...for what that was worth.  The classes were really more of a boiler-plate experience on conflict resolution and interpersonal skills we all have and already use.  I’m simply shocked at how much the annual expenditures were on the program- in the $7M range.  Someone was getting nice and wealthy off that.

MC and I didn’t utilize the program before we got married and lo-and-behold we have an ideal marriage. 
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2015, 10:28:53 am »



MC and I didn’t utilize the program before we got married and lo-and-behold we have an ideal marriage. 




I sincerely hope you do!  I truly hate the divorce rate in this state - it is hurting us badly, I feel.

I kinda cringe when I see that end comment - hope it doesn't jinx you...!!   I have seen too much over the decades - am starting to get just a little bit superstitious!

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Conan71
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2015, 10:31:17 am »


I sincerely hope you do!  I truly hate the divorce rate in this state - it is hurting us badly, I feel.

I kinda cringe when I see that end comment - hope it doesn't jinx you...!!   I have seen too much over the decades - am starting to get just a little bit superstitious!



You’ve never met my wife.  I truly found a unicorn.
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"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first” -Ronald Reagan
heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2015, 10:41:19 am »

You’ve never met my wife.  I truly found a unicorn.


Wonderful !!   I have one, too, and am very glad she puts up with me...

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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
TulsaMoon
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2016, 09:36:03 am »

These funds also help foster and adoptive parents. As someone who is a foster parent and now we are in the beginning stages of adopting these two wonderful kids I hope the state funding does not end in regards to this portion. The children in care of foster parents do need the support services. The foster parents and adoptive parents need these support services as well. Take the marriage part out of it and concentrate the funds to the children in need.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2016, 11:51:31 am »

These funds also help foster and adoptive parents. As someone who is a foster parent and now we are in the beginning stages of adopting these two wonderful kids I hope the state funding does not end in regards to this portion. The children in care of foster parents do need the support services. The foster parents and adoptive parents need these support services as well. Take the marriage part out of it and concentrate the funds to the children in need.


You gotta know by now that if the state can find a way to mess up a good thing, it will rush in that direction with wild abandon!!

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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
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