Saturday, February 04, 2023

Sen. Warren Hamilton remarks on his bills being assigned to committees

Hamilton is one of the really good guys in the Oklahoma State Senate:

Hamilton’s bills assigned to Senate committees

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Warren Hamilton, R-McCurtain, has authored 14 bills that have been referred to their respective committees and will be up for consideration in the next few weeks.

“I’ve filed these bills to protect our constitutional rights, protect Oklahoma children, and make improvements across the state in a variety of areas,” Hamilton said.

State Sup't Walters warns federal funds come with strings attached, can strip state's control of education

I would just like to point out that homeschoolers, for decades, have argued that government funds come with strings attached (which is why we have overwhelmingly rejected efforts to give us education vouchers).

published by the Center for Independent Journalism

Ray Carter (February 1st) -- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters warned lawmakers that they risk losing control of state schools if they accept all forms of federal funding without hesitation.

Sen. Standridge files legislation to protect minors from gender transition medications, surgeries

Sen. Standridge files legislation to protect minors from gender transition medications, surgeries

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, has filed four pieces of legislation to protect minors from life-changing gender transition hormones and surgery that could render them unable to have children as adults.  The bills also allow lawsuits to be filed against health care providers and adults who violate the provisions of these measures.

Friday, February 03, 2023

OCPA column: Budget theatre insults voters

Budget theatre insults voters
By Jonathan Small

When State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters recently unveiled his proposed education budget, critics immediately claimed he was seeking to cut school funding and teacher pay.

Those complaints are a product of political performance and have no basis in reality.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

'Protect Our Kids No 820' organized to oppose recreational marijuana state question

Sign me up:

Protect Our Kids NO 820 Launches
Former Governor Frank Keating Chairs Effort to Stop Recreational Marijuana

A coalition of community, business, and law enforcement leaders filed papers with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission this week to oppose SQ 820, the effort to legalize recreational marijuana under state law. Official documents list former Governor Frank Keating as the chairman of the organization, Protect Our Kids No 820.

State Sen. Standridge files bill to better protect minors from obscene material

Sen. Standridge files bill defining community standards for material made accessible to minors

OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 1st) – State Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, has filed Senate Bill 1056, which would create a special definition of  “contemporary community standards” in Oklahoma statutes to better address the issue of obscene material being made accessible to minors.

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Rep. Gann files bill to require vote of the people to redirect property taxes to TIF districts

Gann Bill Would Require Vote of the People to Redirect Property Taxes to TIF Districts

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 31st) – Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, has filed House Bill 1379, which would require a vote by citizens to redirect property tax through Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) Districts.

Gann explained that in Mayes County, Mid-America Industrial Park (MAIP) officers proposed redirecting county property tax through the implementation of a TIF district to benefit new corporations coming into the industrial park.  

AG Drummond dismisses ClassWallet lawsuit, vows accountability for responsible parties

Back in 2020, Oklahoma officials hired ClassWallet to distribute $17.3M in a federal COVID-19 relief program, intending for these funds to be used for private school tuition and materials. This could be considered one of Gov. Stitt's and now-State Superintendent Ryan Walters' first "school choice" programs.

It ended in abject failure and scandal, with a lot of taxpayer money being misspent. After a lot of frankly pathetic passing-the-buck by several individuals, Walters among them, former Attorney General John O'Connor filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state against ClassWallet for mishandling the funds. I felt that was oddly misplaced at the time, as emails later showed that blanket approval was given by Walters and others in government.

Now, Attorney General Gentner Drummond has dropped that particular suit and intends to go after individuals who are more directly responsible for the lack of oversight. 

First, some additional background, then Drummond's press release. Here's some detail from TheFrontier and OklahomaWatch:

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Hern, Brecheen, RSC budget task force members warn Biden of upcoming budget deadline

Rep. Kevin Hern, along with fellow Oklahoma Congressman Josh Brecheen and other members of the Republican Study Committee that Hern chairs, are pushing President Biden on failing to present his budget proposal by a rapidly approaching statutory deadline:

RSC leaders press Biden on upcoming budget deadline

Sen. Burns files bill to stop federal regulations on firearm suppressors made in Oklahoma

Burns files legislation to stop federal regulations on firearm suppressors made in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. George Burns, R-Pollard, has filed Senate Bill 720, to ensure firearm suppressors and the basic materials used to manufacture them in Oklahoma are not subject to federal laws or regulations.