The Norman Transcript

Government

October 17, 2012

Legislative forum asks questions

NORMAN — The League of Women Voters of Norman hosted a legislative forum for local candidates. Attending were Democrat Matt Branstetter for House District 20, Democrat Paula Roberts for House District 45 and Democrat Claudia Griffith for House District 15. Following are highlights from the evening.

Claudia Griffith, Senate 15:

“Now is not the time to cut income tax,” Griffith said.

With a state question that could reduce the amount of ad valorem taxes collected, this is not the time to cut state income tax and risk being forced to raise property taxes to make up for the lose in income tax, she said.

Griffith said affirmative action is still needed because discrimination still exists.

“What are we thinking?” Griffith said. “I’m a woman over 50-years-old, and I’m telling you, there’s discrimination out there.”

She supports removing the governor from the pardon and parole process for nonviolent offenders.

“This question is basically another moot point to me,” Griffith said. “I don’t think the governor needs to be involved in the parole process for nonviolent crimes.”

She supports more ballot access and making it easier for a third party to get on the ballot.

“I support the movement to increase more civic participation and more ballot access,” she said.

She also supports a commuter train.

“I lived in Norman back in the ’60s, so I remember the buses and the train that went to Oklahoma city,” she said. Removing those rails was not forward thinking.

Education and money to fund it is key, she believes.

“We cannot expect to keep jobs here. we cannot expect to generate new jobs without an adequate education system,” Griffith said.

She would like better accountability and to know where the money from the lottery and Indian gaming has gone.

Matt Branstetter, House 20:

“It’s much easier to pay one tax than multiple taxes,” Branstetter said of his opposition to eliminating the Oklahoma income tax.

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