Balancing Oklahoma’s checkbook

OkCashCowOpinion:  Oklahoma will collect more than $8 billion in taxes in 2015. Since 2009, our state’s revenue has increased by almost 2 percent per year. With that sum of money, and five years of consistent growth, it is hard to believe our state has a $611 million shortfall this year.

However, the budget committee’s failure to consider obvious trends and instead grossly overestimate the state’s income guaranteed financial problems. In fact, it rejected the warnings of budget committee members trained in finance who predicted a shortfall.

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Children’s car seat safety check event

ChildCarSeatThe Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is partnering with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Safe Kids Tulsa to provide families with free inspections for their child’s car seat.

The event will feature a Kona Ice snow cone truck and children’s games. The first 50 people to attend will get free snow cones.

According to, using a child safety seat (car seat) is the best protection you can give your child when traveling by car. Every state in the United States requires that an infant or small child be restrained — and with good reason. Child safety seats can reduce the risk of a potentially fatal injury substantially for babies in particular and also for toddlers. But many safety seats are used incorrectly.

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OK protects religious liberty

ReligiousFreedomPraySens. Anthony Sykes and Dan Newberry Wednesday said the Legislature has acted to protect religious liberty with the passage of Senate Bill 788 and House Bill 1007. Authored by Newberry, SB 788 would prevent any church or clergyman from being required to solemnize a marriage in violation of his or her right to the free exercise of religion as protected under the First Amendment.

Newberry said the passage of SB 788 marked an important victory for clergy members.

This legislation will ensure that clergy members are not forced to act in violation of their religious beliefs or conscience,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “Given the decision of the Supreme Court not to take up our appeal of a lower court’s ruling on our ban on same-sex marriage, it was critical that the Legislature take action this session to defend religious liberty. With the passage of these two bills, we have fulfilled our promise to protect religious liberty in Oklahoma.”

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Anti-human trafficking bill passes

HumanTraffickingU.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) yesterday released the following statement praising the senate’s bipartisan passage of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (S.178):

“After weeks of political games from Democrats, the Senate finally came together to pass an important piece of bipartisan legislation. The passage of the anti-human trafficking bill, with the inclusion of the Hyde amendment, will not only help dismantle the horrible industry of human trafficking and ensure victims receive the resources they need to heal, but it will also continue our 39 year commitment to the sanctity of human life.”

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Let’s Talk Tulsa: Public Safety broadcast

TPD Chief Chuck Jordan and Tulsa County DA Steven Kunzweiler. Photo from KOTV,

TPD Chief Chuck Jordan (left) and Tulsa County DA Steven Kunzweiler. Photo from KOTV,

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan and others discussed the issues of public safety in our community last night at a public forum organized by Tulsa Today and you are welcome to view the entire event online.

Local news media covered elements of the discussion, but missed some of the most compelling points. Of course, they also didn’t mention the event was sponsored by Tulsa Today (the oldest independent online news service in the world) maybe because this type of event is what news organizations should be doing instead of hiding in their cubicles behind armed security guards. They should be engaging the public and providing experts to speak to issues.

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