NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
I recently read in the newspaper that more than 2,000 (yes, thousand) pieces of legislation (i.e., bills) had been pre-filed by Oklahoma legislators for consideration this session. I assumed that this was just a misprint. Yesterday, one of the local news broadcasts confirmed the earlier report.
Not one to jump to conclusions, I looked to see what issues were so important. The overwhelming majority could best be described as CAB (i.e. crazy asinine bills). A prime example is a proposal to forbid/outlaw the use of paper napkins in barbecue restaurants and replace the paper with cloth napkins. There are literally hundreds of kindred CAB proposals. The cost of paper and manpower alone represent a waste of dollars to prepare “measures” that will never be heard in committee.
In addition to the CABs, there are several “business-friendly” issues mixed in. Most noteworthy is an additional reduction in certain corporate and top-tier individual tax rates that in no way will benefit Oskar Okie, or Joe and Betty Worker.
In addition, I found quite a few “Don Quixote versus the windmill” issues, including attempts to rewrite and re-enact previously passed laws that have been found unconstitutional by multiple state and federal courts, including the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.
At the same time, a number of real issues are not addressed. There will be no money to:
· Address our grossly overcrowded and woefully understaffed prisons;
· Relieve overcrowding and understaffing in education, health and mental health systems;
· Provide long overdue raises for state employees and teachers.
·Replace and repair inadequate and crumbling roads, bridges and public buildings.
The list of “no money” issues seems to continue ad infinitum.
We, the Oklahoma citizens:
· Deserve state leaders who focus on essential, crucial and critical issues;