Editor’s Note: One of the most strident pundits in Oklahoma is Charlie Meadows of the Oklahoma Political Action Committee. Charlie, who produces a regular email blast of commentary, event notices, news and views provides this analysis on the forthcoming Oklahoma legislative session.
Opinion: The 2015 legislative session is set to begin next Monday, February 2nd. As with all legislative sessions some good will be done and some bad. Some of it is just craziness.
One of the worst bills I have seen so far is legislation is intended to make major reforms to our voting processes such as everyone voting by mail or registration on line and the elimination of run-off elections. Not only would those ideas invite fraud into the system, it would go a long way toward turning Oklahoma into a liberal state like Washington, Oregon or Colorado, all states with such voting systems.
The bills are sponsored by State Senator David Holt (R-OKC). It appears Senator Holt is trying to solve a so called problem of low voter turn-out, without ever asking the question as to why turnout is dropping.
Could it be the only races in question this past election cycle were state school superintendent and a handful of legislative races and, as such, the demoralized Democrats in the state just didn’t care to show up?
Could it also be many conservative Republicans, so tired of “Democrat-Light candidates in their own party running for office, they just didn’t care to show up? Or the vast majority of those eligible to vote, so poorly educated by our government schools or so “into themselves”, that they are oblivious to what is going on and could care less. These latter two groups are the last people in Oklahoma I want to see being reminded by a ballot in the mail to do their “civic duty”.
Of course almost everyone in the Education industry is trying to find a way to raise teacher salaries. State Auditor Gary Jones believes starting teachers who haven’t proven they can teach a child how to tie a shoe, should earn the same wage as a starting lawmaker.
I have a different thought on that. Since a starting lawmaker gets the same salary as a lawmaker in their 12th year in office, why not lower the average salaries of teachers, now at about $44,500 a year to the average salaries of all lawmakers, about $39,000 a year. Or still another idea, bring those salaries into line with teachers in private schools, probably about $28,000 per year.
Just another idea, want to compare the outcomes of government school educated kids with those educated in private schools? Republicans used to support pay increases for teachers based on merit rather than increasing pay across the board. That would mean bad teachers, and they do exist, would be getting pay raises the same amount as our excellent teachers.
Of course eliminating the educationally worthless all day 4 year old pre-school classes would free up a lot of money that could be used in the higher grades for teacher raises as well as take some of the pressure off local districts to have to build ever more buildings.
Not all that has been introduced is bad, just one case of valuable legislation is being introduced by Representative Sally Kern (R-Bethany & Warr Acres). Kern has introduced 3 very important bills regarding the homosexual communities’ agenda. The first measure is legislation to not pay any state employee that would issue a marriage license to homosexuals wanting to get married, since doing so would be a violation of our State Constitution. This is actually a bill to nullify the unconstitutional overreach of the federal judiciary.
One of her bills would prevent a minister from being taking to court if they refused to marry a homosexual couple. I would say that is a very important piece of legislation to Biblical pastors, priests, rabbis and even Muslim religious leaders, though the hirelings, false prophets and liberal clergy will probably not like such a measure. Her final bill in this regard would prevent any business or person not willing to service homosexuals such as providing a wedding cake, flowers or wedding pictures out of religious conscience from being taken to court by the bigoted homosexuals that see tolerance as a one way street only.
Of course I am just scratching the surface as there are over 2,000 pieces of legislation introduced for this year’s session, way too many. One of the best reforms in this area would be to limit house members to no more than 5 bills and senate members to no more than 8 outside of budget bills by the budget chairman.