This week, I would like to share a few items that will be of interest and have a positive impact to our state. First, the vast majority of Oklahomans and citizens of our southeastern corner of the state were outraged this past summer when the liberal Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the 10 Commandments monument to be displayed at the Capitol.
Many of us in the legislature called upon the governor to nullify that “opinion”, however that did not happen and monument was removed. Those of us in the legislature who disagreed with that decision took action and just this past week we passed SJR 72, which offers the people of Oklahoma the option of repealing the amendment in our constitution that the Supreme Court cited in their opinion.
That question will be on the ballot in November, and if passed, the 10 Commandments monument will be placed back on the Capitol lawn.
On a different issue, the Senate passed HB 2763 which is also known as the “Oklahoma Stabilization Act”. This bill is a great step to stabilizing the financial climate in Oklahoma.
As most people are aware, Oklahoma is heavily dependent on the energy sector which is an extremely volatile industry. The Stabilization Act would create a better use of our revenue stream and curb the “spend it while we have it” mentality, so that when the energy sector takes a down turn we will have not over extended ourselves and will have money put back to stabilize us until it recovers.
This bill is a good step, but it does not offer much to help Oklahoma’s economy become more diverse, which is something I believe we must also do.
Also, it is disturbing to realize that 47 percent of our state budget comes from the federal government. This affects health care, public safety, roads, infrastructure, education, and a long list of other services.
The reason it is disturbing is because the federal government is approaching $20 trillion dollars in debt and within my lifetime it will financially collapse, just as we have seen it happen in other nations over the course of recent history.
Sadly, there is zero desire or movement for Washington to even begin to resolve this. In response to these concerns, this week the Oklahoma Senate passed SJR 4, which calls for an Article 5 Conventions of the States and for 3/4 of the states to come together and amend the United States Constitution to force them to balance the budget.
This convention is highly controversial, but it is the only viable option that we currently have to address this very serious issue.
I was happy to co-author each of these three pieces of legislation, however much of what we as conservative legislatures are required to do is play defense and ensure bad legislation is not passed.
I have given many examples of how we had to do this to protect our rural public schools and we were very successful. Another thing we were able to strike down this past week was mandatory vaccination.
Currently, parents have the right to choose what immunizations are injected into their child’s body, but there was push to remove that parental right. Fortunately we were able to ensure that legislation did not pass.
Lastly, I realize there is growing concern and anticipation regarding the budget. I have every intention of giving an update in the coming weeks as we get closer to finalizing the budget.
As always, if there is ever anyway I can assist anyone or if there is anything you would like to discuss more in depth don’t hesitate to contact me at 405-521-5614 or by email at [email protected].
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