The Norman Transcript

Government

November 5, 2012

Review of state questions

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The outcome of this vote will not change those exemptions that are already in effect. The business community, in particular large public service providers, supports a “yes” vote.

Voting “yes” on SQ 766 will allow the exemption of intangible personal property from ad valorem taxes.

 

Affirmative action could be limited: Voters are asked whether affirmative action, even as limited in the Sooner state, is still needed.

SQ 759:

This measure adds a new section to the State Constitution. The measure deals with three areas of government action: employment, education and contracting. In these areas, the measure does not allow affirmative action programs.

Affirmative action programs give preferred treatment based on race, color or gender. They also give preferred treatment based on ethnicity or national origin. Discrimination on these bases also is not permitted.

The measure permits affirmative action in three instances: 1. When gender is a bonafide qualification, it is allowed; 2. Existing court orders and consent decrees that require preferred treatment will continue and can be followed; 3. Affirmative action is allowed when needed to keep or obtain federal funds. The measure applies to the state and its agencies, counties, cities and towns, school districts and other state subdivisions.

A “yes” vote would limit affirmative action in Oklahoma.

Supporters say affirmative action is no longer needed.

Several groups have taken a stance against the measure.

“There is a general belief that affirmative action means a quota system where a less-qualified applicant might get a job or might get admitted to college over a more qualified applicant simply because of race or gender, and that’s just not true,” said Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma executive director. “Quotas have been illegal in Oklahoma for decades, so if that’s what voters are concerned about, then they should rest assured that that law is long settled in the Sooner state.”

As one of the bill’s champions, Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher, believes the measure would ban programs that give preferential treatment to any person on the basis of race, sex, color or national origin.

 

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