It deals with the US Department of Justice in the lawsuit concerning protecting our area water rights from exploitation by Oklahoma City Water Authority with complicity by the Governor, Attorney General and the Oklahoma Water Resource Board.
The good news is that the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations’ suit to stop this exploitation was given a real shot in the arm when the case between the state and the tribes was moved out of state court and into federal court. This is the best news we have had concerning the protection of our regional water assets for some time.
We ended the first phase of the 2nd Session by passing on House Bills to the Senate last week. We will begin hearing Senate bills this week. According to the House leadership, the greatest accomplishment was to send legislation to the Senate that calls for the minimizing and eventually abolishing the state income tax.
While that may tickle one’s itching ears, the down side of this is the eventual increase in property and sales taxes to cover needed state services. Some will say that we can shrink government by privatizing these services and infrastructure needs.
It sounds as if they want us to believe that the private entities will do these functions for free. If you believe that, I have some Briartown ocean front property that is for sale — just for you — real cheap!
Let’s consider the real effectiveness of our State Legislature as it strives to save the taxpayers money. 101 State Representatives spent close to an hour discussing placing an issue on our next General Election Ballot.
The critical issue that will be put to a vote of the people after squandering over 100 man hours of legislative work is HJR 1015 concerning whether retail privately owned package (liquor) stores should be allowed to sell bottle openers, cork screws and other wine and spirit accessories in their stores.
That is really government operating at its best! No! Not quite!
We also spent considerable time considering and passing a bill that will allow the use of physical or deadly force against an intruder in places of worship. I know that Scriptures refer to Jesus using physical force to clear out the Temple Complex of money changers but this legislation lacks any Scriptural endorsement that I am aware of. I realize that an affirmative vote to this is good for one’s NRA Rating but is this the best use of the legislature’s time?
For those of us attempting to protect local control of our public schools we had hoped to have legislation considered which would allow local districts to have seniors who had successfully completed all state and district curriculum high school graduation requirements to actually graduate.
There was a compromise worked out in the form of HB 2970 which states that, “The State Board of Education shall adopt rules establishing an appeal process for students who have been denied a standard diploma…..”
The student would have 30 days to file an appeal and the Board 45 days to respond. I was told that this was the best we could get through the Senate and it was thereby passed in the House.
This was suddenly made irrelevant when an email sent by Superintendent Barresi was sent to her staff and mistakenly also to the Broken Arrow Superintendent.
This was in response to a Broken Arrow parent’s letter concerning her daughter not being allowed to graduate. The problematic nature of Supt. Barresi’s response is found in the following quote. “We will use OUR response as a template for all responses. I will no longer take the heat for districts failing to do their job! Joel (Barresi’s Chief of Staff), the legislature needs to be aware of the appeal process. Janet” This exact quote indicates that Supt. Barresi sees HB 2970 and its requirement of the Board’s creating an appeals process as totally irrelevant. I would recommend she review the role of Legislative statutory authority.
If you would like to have my weekly Notes sent to by email each week, please contact me at the address below. If you wish to contact me please utilize any of the following: PO Box 98, Porum, OK 74455, by email at [email protected] , home phone: 918 484 5701, cell: 918 448 5702 or legislative Assistant, Gene Fowler, at 1 800 522 8502 or 405 557 7375 and fax 405 962 7685 at the Capitol. Web Site http://www.edcannaday.com Ed Cannaday