The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 31, 2012

State workers contribute to charity campaigns

NORMAN — The success of Norman’s United Way campaign depends on employees and employers, regardless of where they work. In theory, neighbors who each give some can collectively make a large impact on human service agencies.

That’s why the extension granted the state’s Oversight Committee for State Employee Charitable Contributions is so significant in Norman. Hundreds of state employees call Norman home and are a vital part of the local campaign.

Gov. Mary Fallin this week signed into law the committee’s extension. Norman lawmakers were instrumental in keeping the issue alive.

If Gov. Fallin had not signed the bill, the committee of seven state employees that govern payroll deductions would have been dissolved. That would have been a shame since state employees should have the same opportunity to support non-profit agencies that help their neighbors as workers in the private sector.

A lawmaker earlier this year had questioned the need for the committee since it was not an essential state service and took employee time away from delivering state services.

The legislation signed by the governor extends the committee’s life until July 1, 2016. Nearly 3,000 state employees donated $613,157 to various charities in 2011. Of that amount, more than $38,000 was paid out to Norman United Way agencies.

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