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Repealing Laws & Designating Watermelon the Official State Vegetable

We are a nation of laws. Far too many laws. Well, all of us except for Obama, who is apparently exempt. When legislatures meet year after year to pass new legislation, tweak current laws and occasionally repeal one, the end result is always the same at the end of every session – many more laws to follow than we had at the beginning of the session. Repealing laws has never been a priority with legislatures. Take a look at the photo to the left. Oklahoma State Rep. Jason Murphey has this photo on his blog. The stack of books on the left is the Oklahoma state statutes as published in 2001. The stack on the right is the statutes as published in 2011. In just ten years the legislature passed enough laws to require the printing of two additional volumes. For this current session, Rep. Murphey and a few others have taken direction provided them by Speaker of the House […] → Keep reading

Oklahoma Senators Accept Free Trips Before Voting On National Popular Vote

The publicity and outrage over the Oklahoma State Senate voting to change the way Oklahoma awards electoral votes has resulted in another report that is just as outrageous. Several Oklahoma Senators accepted expenses-paid trips to Miami and Las Vegas before casting their votes to essentially nullify the Electoral College. The trips were paid for by a non-profit group called FairVote, which is pushing for the national popular vote to elect the president instead of the Electoral College.

Normally, I do not quote entire news articles on my blog but this has too many important points to leave any of it out.

The Gazette – Several Oklahoma legislators accepted expenses-paid trips to Miami and Las Vegas from a group that wants to change the way the U.S. elects a president, but because the travel was sponsored by a nonprofit group, rather than traditional lobbyists, there’s no requirement for the lawmakers to disclose the trips to the public.

FairVote, which wants states […] → Keep reading

Oklahoma State Agency Consolidation

State Representative Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie), chair of the House Government Modernization Committee, has written an opinion piece for the Edmond Sun in which he discusses a recent study to analyze the possible benefits of consolidating some of Oklahoma’s central service agencies. Central service agencies are the state agencies which provide services to other Oklahoma state agencies.

Murphey lists the following agencies:

Department of Central Services Office of State Finance Office of Personnel Management Employees Benefits Council Merit Protection Commission Oklahoma State Employee Education and Group Insurance Board Archives and Records Commission Department of Libraries

Murphey says, “Consolidating some of all of these agencies would present state policy leaders with the opportunity to realize greater efficiency and cost savings through the streamlining of services.”

One study detailed a possible savings of $10 million per year if the consolidation resulted in a reduction of just 20% of appropriated dollars.

Murphey believes the proposed plan will receive serious consideration from the Oklahoma Legislature […] → Keep reading