Thursday, October 28, 2010

Choices, Choices, Oh So Many Choices... My Take on the 2010 State Questions

Choices, choices... oh so many choices...

Yes, with just four days left, I am finally getting around to covering the eleven State Questions on the ballot. Mind you, this is a brief summary of my position on each. I intended to do this earlier, but the time simply evaded me. But, better late than never...

State Question 744 ("regional average" education funding mandate) -- NO

If there is only one state question that you vote on this year, make SQ744 the one -- and vote NO. 744 mandates that Oklahoma spend the "regional average" on education, essentially putting states like Texas and Colorado in charge of Oklahoma's budget. If the regional average goes down, Oklahoma's education spending cannot go down. There is no funding provided for the estimated annual $1B-$2B price-tag with SQ744 (on top of the current budget; education already gets well over 50% of the state budget, or over $3.5B), a price-tag that would have to be funded by a 30% tax increase, a 20% cut in every other state department, or a combination of the two. SQ744 is extremely dangerous, and you need to vote No.

State Question 746 (voter ID) -- YES

I am a huge fan of Voter ID, and therefore will be voting for SQ746. This will serve to combat voter fraud, and ensure that we have a fair and legitimate election process. Vote Yes.

State Question 747 (term limits) -- YES

Oklahoma currently has term limits for the state legislature and governor. SQ747 merely expands it to the other statewide offices (like Lieutenant Governor, Auditor, State Superintendent, etc). Again, I'm a huge fan of term limits. Vote Yes.

State Question 748 (backup redistricting committee) -- YES

This question amends how the backup redistricting committee is chosen (and makes it bipartisan), if the legislature somehow fails to redistrict (which has never happened in state history). Vote Yes.

State Question 750 (petition signatures) -- YES

This measure standardizes how many signatures are needed to place a State Question on the ballot. Rather than using a set percentage based on the last general election (presidential or gubernatorial), this makes it the same percentage - but of the last gubernatorial election (less votes in that cycle, so less signatures needed). Vote Yes.

State Question 751 (English official language) -- YES

SQ751 makes English the official language of state government. Official documents will be printed in English (as opposed to, say, California, where ballots are printed in seven different languages). It does nothing to affect personal speech, and has exceptions for Native American languages and Federal law. Local State Representative George Faught (R-Muskogee) has worked for four years for passage of this legislation. Vote Yes.

State Question 752 (judicial nominating committee) -- YES

This measure expands the Judicial Nomination Committee from 13 to 15 members, and reduces the power of the Oklahoma Bar Association when it comes to selecting new judges and justices. Vote Yes.

State Question 754 (state budget decision making) --YES

SQ754 was intended mainly to combat SQ744, and similar future measures that tie Oklahoma's budget to that of other states. There has been some question as to the unintended consequences of this State Question, but I believe them to not be the case. Attorney General Drew Edmondson did a bit of editorializing in the ballot language of this particular measure, so the language about inability to repeal, et cetera, is incorrect. (trivia: the Attorney General is the person who writes the final language for ballot measures, not the legislature) Vote Yes.

State Question 755 (banning use of international and Sharia law) -- YES

SQ755 is a very important "Yes" vote. Believe it or not, but Islamic Sharia law has been used in some British and American courts! Additionally, we must ensure that so-called International Law is never given precedence over state and federal law, or our Constitution. (brief plug: for a dangerous example of international law, see Vote Yes.

State Question 756 (anti-ObamaCare) -- YES

Part of the nationwide fight against ObamaCare, it is very important that SQ756 be passed. Vote Yes.

State Question 757 (Rainy Day Fund expansion) -- NO

This expands the size of the state's Constitutional Reserve Fund ("Rainy Day Fund"). I'm not going to be terribly upset if this passes, but I will be voting against SQ757. I see no reason to give the legislature more money - and more excuses to not make needed cuts to government. Vote No.

This is merely my take on the State Questions. has a good section on the State Questions, complete with Pro & Con takes, and the actual ballot language. Do your research, and VOTE on these State Questions!


Anonymous said...

wrong again no makes certain politicians will spend everything they can get their hands on. Forcing them to save it means they can't spend it which is exactly what they have done everytime they get extra money. They have returned the surplus once in 103 years. No brainer!

Jamison Faught said...

Anonymous: first of all, thanks for reading and commenting.

To your point: now that we have a very solid Republican majority in both chambers, and will most likely have a Republican governor, the odds of surpluses being returned are much greater (as the legislature will be more inclined to that). Additionally, many conservatives like me will begin to make sure that we elect legislators who will cut taxes and return the taxpayers hard-earned money. With the Democrats out of power (and headed for complete irrelevance!), there will be no excuses!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jamison, but not many people I know agree with me.

My reasoning is we are not expecting a surplus for the next 3-4 years. Predictions are revenues could continue to fall.

And money "borrowed" from the rainy day fund has to be replaced first. It is like having another bill to pay and a short paycheck coming in.

I do believe the Republican legislature will be much more fiscally responsible, and another plus is termed out Corn and Crutchfield.

Bobbie McAuliffe