Monday, September 18, 2023

Small: Ranked-choice voting a bad idea

Ranked-choice voting a bad idea
By Jonathan Small

Oklahoma is one of only a relative handful of states that conduct runoff elections. Because those runoff elections cost taxpayer money – typically hundreds of thousands – and draw lower turnout, some officials argue we should abandon runoff elections and instead adopt “ranked choice” voting.

But a recent legislative study highlighted why that is a bad idea. Whatever savings might be achieved would be more than offset by widespread voter confusion, reduced transparency and effective disenfranchisement of many citizens.

Stitt, UKB and Kialegee tribal leaders agree on tribal gaming compacts, ask committee for approval


OKLAHOMA CITY (September 14, 2023) - Governor Kevin Stitt, in separate letters with United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) Chief Joe Bunch and Kialegee Tribal Town (KTT) Mekko Stephanie Yahola, called on the Joint Committee on State-Tribal Relations, Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, and House Speaker Charles McCall to convene to approve their agreed upon gaming compact.  

Sunday, September 17, 2023

OSDE awarded nearly $10M grant to assist youth with disabilities

OSDE Announces Nearly $10 Million Pathways to Partnership Grant to Assist Oklahoma Youth with Disabilities

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Sept. 14th) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education has been awarded a nearly $10 million competitive grant from the United States Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration to support increased efforts in partnership to provide, improve, and expand services that address the transition needs of Oklahoma youth with disabilities. 

4th annual 'Giving Sight Day' sees eye docs across Oklahoma offering free exams on Sept. 30th

Oklahomans In-Need Can Receive Complimentary Vision Exams on Fourth Annual Giving Sight Day (9/30) 

OKLAHOMA CITY – Participating optometric physicians across the state of Oklahoma will be giving complimentary eye exams to those in-need as part of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physician’s (OAOP) fourth annual Giving Sight Day.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Cong. Brecheen sets 14 town halls across 2nd District for October 2nd-4th

Congressman Josh Brecheen Announces October In-Person Town Halls

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 14th) – Congressman Josh Brecheen will hold in-person town hall meetings on Monday, October 2nd, Tuesday, October 3rd, and Wednesday, October 4th. Constituents are invited to attend and share their thoughts and ask questions on policy issues impacting Washington, D.C. and Oklahoma.

Congressman Brecheen has so far held 60 in-person town halls throughout Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District with more to be announced for November.  

Gov. Stitt, State Sup't Walters highlight school safety initiative

Governor Stitt and Superintendent Walters Statements on School Safety
Oklahoma Leaders Highlight School Safety Initiatives

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (September 12th) – Governor Kevin Stitt and Superintendent Ryan Walters have issued the following statements on school safety in conjunction with highlighting resources available in Oklahoma’s comprehensive school safety initiative:

Congressman Josh Brecheen announces September 28th telephone town hall

Congressman Josh Brecheen Announces September Telephone Town Hall

Washington, D.C. (Sept. 14th) – Congressman Josh Brecheen announced today that the next telephone town hall will now be on September 28th at 7:00pm CT.

The telephone town hall comes after Congressman Brecheen has held 60 in-person town halls throughout Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District with more to be announced soon.  

Friday, September 15, 2023

Small: Literacy report not a shocker

Literacy report not a shocker
By Jonathan Small

According to data from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, a national survey, around 500,000 Oklahoma adults could be either functionally illiterate or would struggle to understand written information.

That won’t shock many employers at companies that offer entry-level positions. Talk to an employer, and you will hear tales of applicants who cannot perform simple tasks because of poor literacy skills.

Democratic legislative leaders gripe about GOP policies, special session goals

Able to do little else of substance, the leaders of the Democratic superminority in the Legislature are lambasting Gov. Stitt's call of a special session, and GOP priorities in general:

Democratic leaders comment on special session call

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 14th) – Democratic legislative leaders Kay Floyd and Cyndi Munson released the following statement regarding the governor’s call for a special session on October 3, 2023.

State Sen. Pemberton appointed to chair Senate's Retirement & Insurance Committee

Senate Pro Tem Treat Appoints Sen. Pemberton as Retirement and Insurance Chairman

OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, today announced the appointment of Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, R-Muskogee, as the chairman of the Senate Retirement and Insurance Committee.

“Sen. Pemberton has a wealth of knowledge and proven background in a number of areas during his time in the Senate,” Pro Tem Treat said. “He is an excellent leader who continues to perform well as a member of our caucus leadership team. Sen. Pemberton is informed and listens to all opinions before making a decision. For these reasons and others is why I think he will make an exceptional chairman of this committee. I appreciate him for accepting this new role in addition to his many others.”

Pro Tem Treat wants Governor to explain special session call before Appropriations Committee

Once again, the fight looks to be on between the Governor and the Senate, with the House seeming to lean more toward the Governor than against:

Pro Tem Treat Calls on Gov. Stitt to Appear before Appropriations Committee
Pro Tem Treat wants the governor to better explain special session call

OKLAHOMA CITY – During a media availability this afternoon, Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, called on Governor Kevin Stitt to appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee to explain his goal with his recent special session call.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Bingman's Corporation Commish candidacy endorsed by LtGov Pinnell, Commissioners Hiett and David


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 7, 2023 - Statewide leaders joined Governor Kevin Stitt in lending their support of Brian Bingman for Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner.

Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell said: “I’m proud to throw my endorsement behind Secretary Bingman; he’s a strong conservative leader, extremely qualified for the job, and a man of faith. I’m thrilled that he’s wanting to continue to serve the people of Oklahoma as our next Corporation Commissioner.” Oklahoma Corporation Commissioners Kim David and Todd Hiett also issued endorsements today.

Commissioner David said in a statement, “Brian and I worked together in the state Senate, where he championed conservative reforms. His leadership and prowess will be an unmatched attribute on the Commission.”

Commissioner Hiett echoed his support for Bingman saying, “With more than 40 years of experience in the energy industry, Brian is the most qualified person to be the next Corporation Commissioner. He’ll bring invaluable knowledge, common sense and maturity that will help us in our efforts to protect our oil and gas industry.”

In response, Bingman said, “I’m honored to have the support and endorsement of our state’s top conservative leaders today. It’s very humbling that they are putting their trust in me to help make Oklahoma a better place to do business and raise a family. I look forward to getting together with them on day one to start working on our vision for the State.”

Bingman is the only announced Republican candidate for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. He currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor and Secretary of State to Governor Kevin Stitt.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Cong. Brecheen comments on 22nd anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks

Congressman Josh Brecheen Issues Statement on 22nd Anniversary of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Josh Brecheen issued the following statement to mark the 22nd anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

“Twenty-two years ago, America changed forever, as nearly 3,000 innocent men and women were tragically killed in a cowardly terrorist attack that shook our nation to its core. Today, I join Americans across the country in solemnly remembering and honoring these victims and the families they left behind.

Gov. Stitt calls Legislature back for special session on tax policy, budget transparency

Continued fallout from the disastrous McGirt Supreme Court decision now has a case before the Oklahoma Supreme Court that could result in tens of thousands of tribal citizens being exempt from the state income tax. Read this from NonDoc: Stroble case asks OK Supreme Court to decide income tax rules on reservations (here's a follow-up article as well). Gov. Stitt is callng a special session to address this potential, as well as exploring tax cuts and increased state budget transparency.


OKLAHOMA CITY (September 11, 2023) - Today, Governor Kevin Stitt announced he is calling a special session of the Oklahoma Legislature beginning October 3, 2023, to demand tax fairness for all Oklahomans, deliver a tax cut to Oklahoma taxpayers, and increase transparency in the state budget process.

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Small: Oklahoma colleges’ DEI mandates violate free speech

Oklahoma colleges’ DEI mandates violate free speech
By Jonathan Small

The Arizona Board of Regents recently announced that public universities in that state will no longer require “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI) statements from job applicants.

Oklahoma colleges and universities should do the same.

Monday, September 04, 2023

Ethics Commission director resigns in protest over perpetual lack of funding

When it comes to oversight and accountability, there are few two agencies that Oklahoma's elected officials have traditionally disliked more -- and funded less -- than the Oklahoma Ethics Commission and the State Auditor & Inspector. With the former, years of legislative neglect (or outright hostility) have led to the resignation-in-protest by the Ethics Commission's executive director.

Saturday, September 02, 2023

Nat'l Taxpayers Union gives "Taxpayers’ Friend Award" to Lankford for conservative stance on fiscal issues

Lankford Receives “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” for Standing Up to Irresponsible Federal Spending 

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) was recognized by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) for his votes in strong support of limited government, low taxes, and fiscal responsibility. This year Lankford is one of only six Senators to have earned the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” for their voting record during the 2022 congressional session.

Lankford demands Biden Admin investigate Chinese Communist Party influence in K-12 schools

Communist China has always tried to play the long game, putting a lot of resources into infiltrating Western governments, corporations, society, and culture. One way in which they've attempted to do this is by funding initiatives in all levels of education (K-12 and college). Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) is joining a number of colleagues in calling for the Biden administration to investigate the millions of dollars spent by the Chinese Communist Party in American classrooms.

Friday, September 01, 2023

State Rep. Humphrey requests investigation into ATF raid in Pushmataha County

Humphrey Requests Investigation into ATF Actions

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, today submitted a letter to the state's attorney general, to the sheriff of Pushmataha County, to the governor and to other judicial and law enforcement agencies asking for an investigation into an alleged raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on a Pushmataha County resident and business owner that resulted in the forfeiture of the man's federal firearms license.

$22M in OK Lottery proceeds moved into Teacher Empowerment Fund for distribution

Senate Pro Tem Treat, Senate Education Chairman Pugh Announce over $22 Million Moved to Teacher Empowerment Fund

OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 1st) – Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, and Senate Education Chairman Senator Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, today announced over $22.58 million has been deposited into the Teacher Empowerment Fund from the Oklahoma Lottery proceeds.