Sunday, July 25, 2010

Oklahoma State Questions in 2010

I decided to post a list of State Questions that will appear on Oklahoma's ballot in November 2010.

SQ 744

This question would add an amendment to the State Constitution that requires that the Legislature fund the state's public schools to at the least the per-pupil average of neighboring states.

Personally, I agree that our public schools are in need of drastic help but I don't think requiring a constitutional amendment to set a certain per-pupil cost is the answer. Perhaps we should start lowering the salaries of the school board administrators and give some of that money to the educators. A little extra money for the teachers themselves would encourage people to choose teaching as a career. I am also not in favor of this because it is exclusively for public schools and leaves out charter schools, which I think are a great way to improve education in our state.

SQ 746

Also known as the Oklahoma Voter Identification Measure, would require a voter to produce proof of identity when they are voting.

I fully support this measure and quite honestly I don't understand why this has not already been enacted.

SQ 747

This measure would add an amendment to the State Constitution that would require term limits for the governor, lieutenant governor, state auditor, attorney general, state treasurer, labor commissioner, state schools superintendent, and insurance commissioner. This amendment would set 8-year lifetime term limits for these offices. Currently, the governor, for instance, cannot serve more than 8 consecutive years but can seek re-election after a 4-year gap.

Not shy about this one. I'm all for it!!

SQ 748

Known as the Oklahoma Reapportionment Commission Measure, this measure proposes a constitutional amendment to reform this particular commission.

Currently, the commission is comprised of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Attorney General, and the State Treasurer. The measure would set it up where the commission is comprised of 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans, appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the President Pro Tem of the Senate.

This commission is basically responsible for drawing new legislative district lines.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this commission quite honestly. I would kind of rather see the commission go away. I don't think we need any sort of re-districting.

I guess when it comes time to vote on this I would probably approve it but I don't honestly care either way.

SQ 750

Another proposed constitutional amendment. This one would lower the percentage of signatures required to propose a constitutional amendment from 15% to 10%.

I would probably vote against this measure. 15% is a decent percentage in my opinion to propose a change to the State Constitution.

SQ 751

This measure to approve an amendment to the State Constitution would simply make English the official language of the State of Oklahoma.

No secrets here. I'm all in favor of this!

SQ 752

Referred to as The Judicial Nominating Commission Act.

This would add 2 members to the Judicial Nomination Commission.

What this commission does is choose people to nominate for judge is there is a vacancy and sends those names to the Governor. Then the Governor picks someone to fill the vacancy out of those three. Currently, there are 13 members on the commission.

Honestly, I don't care about this commission and really don't understand why the governor himself (or herself) can't pick someone to fill the vacancy themselves? And aren't judges here in Oklahoma elected? If so, shouldn't the voters choose someone to fill that vacancy?

I think I would oppose this measure.

SQ 754

This is referred to as the No Mandated State Expenditures Act.

From what I have read about this, it states that the State Legislature can't be required to make expenditures for any function of government using a predetermined formula of any kind.

Huh?

I read some more about it but still could not make any sense of it so with that in mind, I vote to oppose it because it makes no sense.

SQ 755

The title of this one disturbs me: The Oklahoma Sharia Law Amendment.

This proposed constitutional amendment requires our courts rely on federal and state laws when handing down decisions concerning cases and prohibits them from using Sharia law.

Well, I approve of this measure and find it disturbing that we need a constitutional amendment to require this.

SQ 756

Also referred to as the Oklahoma Health Care Freedom Amendment, this proposes an amendment to the State Constitution and would essentially opt out of any federally-mandated health care provisions (like Obamacare).

Hmmmm.......

SQ 757

This is referred to as the Oklahoma Rainy Day Fund Amendment.

It is a request to increase the amount of money that would go into the state's reservation funds, or "rainy day" funds.

Currently, the amount is 10% and this would increase it to 15%.

Personally, I like the proposal but I do not think that now is the time for it to go into effect. I would say that I would vote in favor of it once we get out of this economic crisis and get our budget balanced here in the State. But, although I am going to vote against it, I would not be terribly upset if it were approved.

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:43 PM

    You should reconsider your opposition to making it easier to post a constitutional ballot measure. The path of greatest resistance for the powers that be lies in obstruction the initiative and referendum process. Suppose a bad amendment makes it past the 10% threshold. What then? It still has to pass at the ballot box in order to become law.

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  2. The problem with reducing the number of signatures is that we end up with more of these silly state questions on the ballot, which also means I end up having to see more advertisements from organizations that support or oppose that particular state question.

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  3. SQ-748: You should care about this one! This is a BIG TIME NOOOOOO!!! For years, the Democrats have controled the AG, STreas, and Superintendent. Democrats have controlled redistricting since OK has become a state. Fianlly, when Republicans gain control of the House and Senate, they do what EVERY yellow-belly Republican does...they give some power to the Democrats to look "Bipartisan." Once again, the Republicans are willing to sell the grassroots to the liberal Dems. Again...VOTE NO!

    SQ750: You are wrong AGAIN!!! Vote Yes for this. Currently, we have the worse petition legislation in America. Worse, Drew Edmonson used our tough laws to ban the TABOR Petition Initative and thew 3 people unlawfully in jail. Read more about this please. The Constitution gives her citizens the right to petition her gov't yet OK makes it nearly impossible and creates law that some consider make it illegal. This SQ places our ballot Initatives on par with other states. YES on this Question.

    SQ754: You're right to vote NO but let me explain...This state question is to stop SQ744 if passed which sounds like a good thing. SQ744 requires our state budget to fund public schools based on a formula. SQ754 makes it unconstitutional for our state budget to be determined through a formula. But the problem is that this question would make it impossible for OK to someday pass TABOR. Both questions should be a big fat NOOOOO!

    SQ755: Vote "NO"!!! I recommend that you read this question closely before you make your judgment. My closer examination uncovered that although we are exempted from Sharia Law (which is a good thing) but opens OK judges to determine state issues based on other state rulings. For example, if OK passes legislation to banned same-sex marriage, our State Supreme Court could rule it wrong based on New Hampshires judgment. I am sure you would hate that!!! Perfect example that the devil is in the details. Again, vote NO on this.

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  4. Also, all but ONE of these state questions were placed on here but citizen signatures. That was SQ744. Unfortunately, the same process to get the signatures for this question was used to get TABOR on the ballot. Drew Edmonson threw the people that supported TABOR in jail while allowing SQ744 to sail on through. Another example of why we should vote YES to lighten our Petition Initatives. Currently, the ruling class determines what issues citizens are able to address.

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  5. Regarding SW 755, the ballot reads as follows:
    "This measure amends the State Constitution. It would change a section that deals with the courts of this state. It would make courts rely on federal and state laws when deciding cases. It would forbid courts from looking at international law or Sharia Law when deciding cases. Shall the proposal be approved?"

    Again, I say YES!!

    I don't need to read this question again. It is very clear to me.

    I approve of this state question because I would rather our state rely on another state's ruling than I would they rely on Sharia Law.

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  6. Thank you so very much for posting this list so somebody can get a basic idea of what each question is. I am a native Okie and used to subscribe to the adage that you should vote NO on ever state question that you could not read or understand and that usually included them all. I appreciate you approach.

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  7. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Regarding SW 755,
    "It would make courts rely on federal and state laws when deciding cases."
    I would like to know the true meaning of (state laws). I read it as state laws as Oklahoma State Laws. Not as (State's Laws) as all other states laws. I wish they would have put Oklahoma State Law so there would not be any question.

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  8. Anonymous3:35 PM

    great blog.. glad some one is trying to decipher the questions at hand...after i read the questions i came up w/ a no on #744 and yes on #754.. from the way it was explained to me by a lawyer, that is if #744 passes #754 will make it illegal to change the law, so #754 is protection against #744

    it looks like JAMES is a big fat liberal, maybe a dope smoking hippie too....

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  9. Anonymous11:38 AM

    SQ 750 actually levels the playing field. For example: Current petition initive requires that 8% (state legislation) of the signatures are based on the general election with the US President on the ballot. Given that high number of signatures required along with only 90 days to do it....it's no wonder the petiton initives never make it to the ballot. Not to mention the Oklahoma Supreme Court and Legislators running screen on this issue. Senator Randy Brogdon did the right thing by sponsering this initiative. We all need to vote yes and let the people of Oklahoma decide how we should be governed.

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  10. Anonymous7:24 AM

    You got the title to 755 wrong. It is known as the Save our State Amendment. The problem with the amendment is that it omits case law from being considered in making rulings. Additionally there is no reason for this amendment. Sharia has never been used in Oklahoma Courts or in any other court in the United States. Additionally Sharia Law only applies to Muslims. It cannot be imposed on non Muslims.

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  11. Anonymous9:36 PM

    What is your take on SQ 753 Worker's Compnsation Court Judges?

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  12. Anonymous9:14 AM

    if 755 is passed it would keep international companies from wanting to do business in Oklahoma. Any contracts with international companies are going to have some international laws tied to them. It is not a well worded question. Vote No and make them re-write it.

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