There have been a lot of really crazy things in the news this week.
There were some really interesting bills filed in the Oklahoma State Legislature for the 2018 session. That’s great because the 2017 session never really ended. The second special session is still unfinished.
It’s kind of like the governor planned a Super Bowl party and it was so fun that everyone just stayed around until Valentines Day.
There were more than 1,000 bills filed. A small percentage of those written by “the cool kids” will actually be considered in committee. A few of those will survive to a floor vote. Of those, silly arguments will kill several of them and donors with wealthy lobbyists will kill others.
A few will actually become law.
If we are lucky, those few won’t cause continued revenue failures that cause massive cuts to essential state services.
Of course, all of the conservatives who hate tax increases decided to try to levee about five new taxes on newspaper circulation and advertising payments. The like tax cuts for oil and gas producers but tax increases for newspapers.
I wonder why.
One of the best bills to be submitted for this session is by Nathan Dahm, a Republican from Broken Arrow. I’m not always right. That’s good news for Sen. Dahm because I almost always disagree with him. If I am ever wrong about something, that gives him a shot to be right. Or we could both be wrong. Anything is possible.
Dahm filed a bill that is heavy on creativity and unfortunately light on details. Dahm filed Senate Bill 1457. If passed, this bill would be a big win for God.
At some point in our state’s history, a statute was encoded that gave ownership of all wildlife in the state to the State of Oklahoma. Dahm’s bill would give ownership – or should I say return ownership – of all wildlife in the state to “Almighty God.” However the legislature of the State of Oklahoma would retain the authority to manage the wildlife.
I have questions.
Why would Almighty God want to have ownership of a bunch of deer so dumb that they try to cross highways when cars are coming at 70 miles per hour? Does Almighty God really want a bunch of gophers, beavers and feral hogs?
Sure, Almighty God would probably think it was cool to own a bunch of bison and elk down by the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. But other than that, he probably is fine with the state keeping ownership of the rest – especially since He wouldn’t have authority over them.
Dahm is up to something with this bill, but he must be playing 3D chess while everyone else plays checkers because I can’t figure out why this bill would be important to anyone south of heaven.
Senator Ron Sharp is one of my favorite legislators. If you know him personally, you know that he tries his best to always do what is right. His name is never on the list for being wined and dined by lobbyists or using campaign funds for personal gain. He is a good man who tries to be a good Senator.
Sen. Sharp has taken some heat for a bill he authored that would force school personnel to go through training each semester to remind them of the consequences of having romantic relationships with their students.
Many see Sharp’s bill as overkill and a waste of time and money. They believe that teachers and administrators should be professional enough not to want to have sexual relations with 16-year olds. I can see that logic.
However, like Sharp, I have also noticed that even though they may know the law, several are arrested for violating it each month.
I think I have a better solution than video or in-person training twice a year.
But I don’t just see the uniforms as being khaki’s and a golf shirt. I think every student should wear a shirt each day that says in large type – perhaps even in Presidential Twitter all caps – “Do not engage in sexual relations with me!”
No teaching time would be wasted on training and the message would still be delivered. There might even be a side effect from my abstinence uniforms. Maybe some of the teens would think the message was for them and the number of unwanted teen pregnancies would drop as well.
I will update this column if Sen. Sharp decides to include my idea in an amended Senate Bill.
The best bill out of more than 1,000 filed is by Rep. David Perryman from Chickasha. Like most ideas in the Oklahoma legislature, it has has no chance of being discussed.
First, a Democrat authored it. That doesn’t help its chances. Also, the bill would require the state legislature to follow the same open meeting and open records acts that local city commissions and school boards have to abide by.
If you think the super secretive gang that paid sexual harassment claims against Representatives with taxpayer money by calling them “housekeeping” and “legal settlements” wants to be more transparent, you are almost crazy enough to get elected.
It is a disservice to the people of Oklahoma. But it isn’t the only one and none of them are likely to change anytime soon.