Subscription Price Increase
If you were a subscriber to Human Events – “The National Conservative Weekly” newspaper, you know they have ended their print version of the publican. It was sad news for those of us at the Oklahoma Constitution who had subscribed for over 40 years. When we were starting our publication in 1979, we often said it would be the “Oklahoma version” of Human Events. We have held our current $12 subscription rate for many years. But, just as Human Events and other publications have succumbed to the increased costs of printing, and especially postage, we too are faced by financial realities. Therefore, our subscription price will increase to $15 per year starting with our summer edition. In the meantime, you can continue to subscribe or renew your subscription at the current rate. Please use the subscription form on the back page.
USPS Saturday Delivery
When the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced their plans to curtail Saturday delivery of mail, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D., praised the USPS for making a proper business management decision. When the USPS Board of Governors reversed direction concerning the modified Saturday delivery, Coburn responded critically. “It is unfortunate the USPS Board of Governors has reversed course and further delayed structural reforms that are needed to ensure the solvency and longevity of the postal service,” Dr. Coburn said. “Turning away from previous plans to institute a modified Saturday delivery significantly stalls any momentum Postal officials were building to responsibly manage their operation. Instead, Postal Officials have succumbed to parochial-minded micromanagers in Congress. We need one postmaster, not 536.” Coburn noted that the reversal cannot continue forever due to the changing business model of mail services.
New Secretary of State
In February, Gov. Mary Fallin announced the appointment of Larry V. Parman of Oklahoma City as secretary of state. He began serving in the position on March 1, replacing Michelle Day who had been acting as interim secretary of state since February 1 after Glenn Coffee left. Parman will also serve as a senior advisor to the governor on policy, economic and legislative issues. The appointment requires the confirmation of the Oklahoma State Senate.
Since 1984 Parman has served as the CEO of Parman & Easterday, an Oklahoma City estate planning, elder law and business planning firm. He is the author or co-author of multiple books on estate planning, financial planning and business. He has served on the board of directors for a variety of civic and business related institutions, including the Oklahoma Council on Economic Development, the Research Institute for Economic Development and Junior Achievement of Oklahoma City, where he also served as chairman of the board for two terms. He is a current member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Association, and the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.
New Transportation Directors
On March 31st state Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley retired as director of the Oklahoma Department of Transportion (ODOT) and director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA). But, he continues to serve in the cabinet post as Gov. Fallin’s Secretary of Transportation. He worked at ODOT for 44 years. In March, Mike Patterson was named by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission as the new director of ODOT. Patterson is a long time ODOT employee who has held a variety of positions, most recently as Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer. Meanwhile, Tim Stewart was named the new director of OTA. Stewart is a long time OTA employee who began his career in the maintenance division and worked his way up to Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer.
Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford, who serves as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, joined his colleagues in supporting H.R. 1120 to prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from taking any action requiring a quorum of the members of the Board until the Board has a Senate-confirmed quorum or the Supreme Court decides on the constitutionality of the appointees. H.R. 1120 passed the House in a vote of 219-209. “Every area of government must follow the law of the land. The President is subject to the constitutional requirements of his office and must adhere to the law when making appointments. This bill clarifies that the decisions and rulings of the current NLRB are null and void until the Supreme Court has an opportunity to determine the Board’s constitutionality or until the President makes appointments through the legally required process,” said Lankford.
In January 2012, in a Chicago-style political move circumventing congressional oversight and approval, President Obama made three appointments to the NLRB (Sharon Block, Terence Flynn and Richard Griffin), effectively stacking the panel with Obama union backers. In Noel Canning v. NLRB, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held Congress was not in recess and therefore vacated the appointments. Without those members every NLRB decision since then was arguably made without the necessary quorum. The D.C. Circuit decision is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court, and the appeals are due on April 25, 2013.
Tulsa Labor Office Closes
State Labor Commissioner Mark Costello announced on March 26 that the Tulsa office of the Oklahoma Department of Labor will be closed. All employees were offered a voluntary buy out on a first-come, first-served basis. Costello cited nearly $600,000 in federal funding cuts to the agency for the closure. “We are closing the brick and mortar portion of the Tulsa office of the Department of Labor for the purposes of budgetary constraints. We will move forward by use of online technology,” Costello said. “We have only seven unique visitors on average per week to our Tulsa office, and we realize that we can service those people as effectively by using resources in a centralized manner, and that’s what we're going to do,” stated Costello.
The announcement was made in part because of an immediate loss of $73,886 and a projected loss of $481,642 totaling $555,528 in federal funds. Those funds would affect the Asbestos Abatement unit, OSHA unit and Statistics Division. The Oklahoma Department of Labor currently employs 78 FTEs with 11 FTEs working from the Tulsa location. “We will still offer the same outstanding services, but we will utilize modern technology through our website, software and our 1-800 line as well as utilizing contracted Career Tech locations for testing and licensing,” stated Costello.
OETA Funding Spared
Conservatives were disappointed that Oklahoma House lawmakers rejected a proposal, House Bill 2218, that would have slowly reduced state funding for Oklahoma’s public television network. On March 14 the House voted 57-41 against the bill to reduce state appropriations to the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA). The agency receives about $3.8 million in state funding each year, which accounts for about 36 percent of its overall budget. The remainder of OETA’s funding comes from foundation grants, in-kind contributions and viewer donations. The bill’s sponsors, Rep. Tom Newell (R-Seminole) and Sen. Bill Brown (R-Broken Arrow), are among a growing number of conservatives who argue that the network is not a core function of government.
Sale of Unused State Property
House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) applauded the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) for their latest efforts to liquidate unused state properties. OMES announced the solicitation of bids for the old OETA studio in Tulsa. The new OETA studio is on the OSU-Tulsa campus. The building up for auction is located at 811 N. Sheridan Rd. The appraised value of the property is $165,000 and may not be sold for less than 90 percent of the appraised value under state statute. Bids will be accepted until April 26. The property was deemed to be underutilized under Speaker Shannon’s Omnibus Asset Consolidation Act of 2012 and therefore can be liquidated to decrease the state’s property footprint and costs.
The State of Oklahoma is one of the largest property and building owners in Oklahoma, and many buildings remain underused and or empty creating a money pit in insurance costs for the state. “We must be better stewards of the taxpayers’ facilities and their tax money,” said Shannon. “Burning tax dollars on empty buildings and underutilizing state assets is a wasteful mismanagement of funds. We need to sell these properties and use the dollars in a more responsible manner.” Shannon has authored House Bill 1910, which calls for an eight-year plan to prioritize asset repairs and maintenance to which liquidated property funds will be directed.
GE Global Research Center
General Electric announced in April that they will build a new Global Research Center in Oklahoma dedicated to driving innovation and technological advancements in the oil and gas sector and bringing products to market faster. GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin made the announcement at the state capitol. The new facility, which is GE Research’s first sector-specific center, represents a $110 million investment by the company and will result in the creation of 125 jobs initially, in disciplines ranging from mechanical and electrical to systems and software engineering. The launch of the new Center comes as the availability of unconventional resources, such as shale gas, is changing the global energy landscape and has the potential to create jobs, fuel innovation and lead to greater energy independence. Oklahoma City is already home to GE Oil & Gas’s Artificial Lift business, which is a recognized leader in electric submersible pump (ESP) manufacturing and services with more than 550 GE employees located here. The search for a specific site for the new center is under way.
Agritourism Liability Law
A bill protecting Agritourism operators has been signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin. House Bill 1638, by state Rep. Scott Biggs (R-Chickasha) and Sen. Ron Justice (R-Chickasha) protects business owners in the Agritourism industry. It calls for a limited liability for Agritourism operators and protects them against injuries suffered during an Agritourism activity provided the venue is registered with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and a warning label is posted. It does not protect operators in cases of gross negligence or willful disregard of the guest. Oklahoma has more than 380 Agritourism venues that offer events such as hunting, trail riding, vineyard tours, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hay rides and farmers markets. The law goes into effect November 1.
Black Friday Specials
Legislation that would make low-cost and discount sales legal in Oklahoma is making its way through the Legislature. Senate Bill 550, by state Sen. David Holt (R-Oklahoma City) and state Rep. Tom Newell (R-Seminole ) would allow the return of “Black Friday” specials. The bill, passed in the Senate 28-15 on March 6 and the House 69-23 on April 17, would allow retailers to offer deep discounts on everything from big-screen televisions to computers, furniture and clothing. The current law, enacted in 1941, forces retailers to mark up merchandise by at least 6 percent. A December 2011 Oklahoma attorney general opinion confirmed that current state law bars all “Black Friday” and other low-price sales, even if they are only temporary. As a result, many retailers shut down their “Black Friday,” “Back-to-School” and other sales events. The bill does not impact fuel, prescription drugs or groceries. If signed into law it would go into effect November 1, just in time for holiday shopping.
Some could contend that the government should not have any say in setting the price of anything by a private retailer. That is what is called free enterprise.
Trigger Law Stuck
Lawmakers and parents who supported the Parent Empowerment Act that would have allowed parents to “trigger” major changes in their local underperforming schools are disappointed the bill did not receive more support in the Oklahoma House. The measure will be laid over until the 2014 legislative session. Senate Bill 1001 was approved in the Senate by a vote of 30-12. It may be considered in the House of Representatives in 2014. The measure by state Senators David Holt (R-Oklahoma City) and Rep. Jabar Shumate (D-Tulsa) and state Rep. Jason Nelson (R-Oklahoma City), would have allowed a majority of parents in an underperforming school to sign a petition that would transition the school to a charter school or terminate the administrators.
Under the measure, the option to terminate administrators would only have been available in Oklahoma or Tulsa counties. An underperforming school would be defined as a school that has received a “D” or an “F” for at least the last two years under Oklahoma’s new grading system, or a “D” or an “F” for two of the last three years, as long as the most recent grade was a “D” or an “F.” The bill provided that if the parents were to choose the charter school option, the charter school would first serve all students in the existing attendance boundaries of the school. The measure was based on a concept that has been enacted in at least seven other states.
Abortion Drug Case
State Rep. Randy Grau (R-Edmond) and state Sen. Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City) announced another chapter in the legal battle over whether or not states can place basic safety requirements on the prescription of abortion-inducing drugs. On April 9, a total of 79 Oklahoma lawmakers in conjunction with Americans United for Life filed a “friend of the court” brief in support of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s request that the United States Supreme Court hear Cline v. OK Coalition for Reproductive Justice. Grau and Treat were the authors of House Bill 1970, which required physicians to examine their patients before prescribing an abortion-inducing drug and to also schedule a follow-up appointment and provide the patient with the drug’s label to ensure she is fully aware of the proper use of the drug. The Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down the law. “Similar laws have been upheld in other states, and, therefore, it is important for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear this case and overturn the incorrect ruling of the Oklahoma Supreme Court,”said Grau. “Our legislation established critical safeguards for women and sensible regulations on the use of powerful and potentially dangerous medicines,” said Treat.
Capitol Wellness Center
In February, Gov. Mary Fallin announced the opening of the Capitol Wellness Center, a new workout facility at the State Capitol that is part of Oklahoma’s larger effort to improve citizen health. “A year ago I ordered the Capitol smoking room closed and a wellness center built in its place as a symbol of our commitment to a healthier, happier Oklahoma. Opening this center today as we begin a new legislative session is real progress we should be proud of,” Fallin said. “Staying healthy and fit has obvious personal benefits, but it also has wider benefits to our state and its economy. Healthy workers are more productive and have lower health care costs, which increases efficiency and drives down costs for public and private employers alike.”
The Capitol Wellness Center is located in the Capitol basement and is available to employees who work in the Capitol building and elected officials. Use of the center will be free for three months. In order to fund operations, a small, monthly fee will then be charged to employees who use the center. The facility features treadmills, weightlifting equipment, cardio equipment, stationary bicycles, lockers, televisions and restrooms with showers. Renovations to the space and some equipment purchases were funded through a $38,500 grant from the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust and a $20,000 matching grant from the Oklahoma Hospital Association. Edmond businessman Dan Bales also donated exercise equipment. Additional fitness center costs of $80,000 came from the Office of Management and Enterprise Services facility maintenance fund.
Fallin Smoking Petition
In February, Gov. Mary Fallin announced a plan to submit new tobacco regulations to a vote of the people in Oklahoma. At an event hosted by the American Cancer Society, Fallin said she would lead an initiative petition drive on the issue. “Improving health and wellness in Oklahoma is a priority for me,” said Fallin. “Any plan that seeks to improve health outcomes will have to address tobacco. Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in Oklahoma, killing 6,000 men and women each year. Hundreds of these people aren’t even smokers, and have instead fallen ill as a result of second hand smoke.” Fallin said it is time to let voters decide whether or not they want clean air in public places like bars and restaurants. While details of the petition were still being finalized, Fallin announced the creation of a new website where Oklahomans can sign up to receive information concerning the effort: www.DontSmokeOnMe.com
Counter Smoking Petition Website
Oklahoma Constitution writer Ted King has created his own website to protect private businesses in the state where smoking is permitted. “Governor Fallin has created a website suggesting that people are being ‘smoked upon’ in Oklahoma today. Given the 2003 smoking ban, this is simply not true. Furthermore, restaurants that did opt for a smoking room – like the Cattlemen’s in Oklahoma City and Freddie’s in Sapulpa – did so at great expense,” says King. The partial restaurant ban went into effect on March 1, 2006. Restaurants with separately ventilated smoking rooms have only been able to use them for less than 10 years. “How can a governor who claims she is ‘pro-business’ want to change the law so that those business people would lose their investment.” The proposed ban would not pertain to tribal casinos that are exempt from Oklahoma law. King, along with Todd Naifeh of ZT Cigars in Oklahoma City created a website to counter Governor Fallin’s effort: www.nobodysmokesonyou.com
Tribal Compact Negotiations
On April 8, at least twenty-five Oklahoma tribal nations converged on Stroud, Oklahoma, the home to the Sac & Fox Nation, to form a united front in their negotiations with the state of Oklahoma to reach a tobacco compact. “The majority of tribes in Oklahoma stand united behind the principle of good faith negotiations between the state and tribes over matters that are economically important to both our peoples,” said George Thurman, Principal Chief of the Sac & Fox Nation and Chairman of the United Indian Nations of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas (UINOKT). Stemming from a case involving the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in the early 1990s, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state could not tax commercial activity between natives and native smoke shops on Indian land, while stating that non-Indian sales on Indian land could be taxed by the state. This mixed decision led to the first Oklahoma tribal tobacco compacts.
In late 2012, the tribes received a letter from Gov. Mary Fallin notifying them that the current compacts, scheduled to expire on June 30, 2013, would indeed terminate. The UINOKT members complain that since Governor Fallin took office, Oklahoma tribes have been waiting to establish good working relations with the governor’s office. “We had hoped that there would have been better, more effective, and more respectful communication between the state and the tribes regarding the upcoming deadline of the tobacco compacts, which bring millions annually to the State of Oklahoma, as well as tribal treasuries,” added Thurman. “We were doing what we were supposed to, and the state decided to move the goal post in the middle of the game.” Three tribes have reached separate agreements with the state.
Compacts with Kaw Nation
At a Capitol ceremony on March 11, Gov. Mary Fallin and Kaw Nation Chairman Guy Munroe signed compacts concerning tobacco taxes and burn bans. “My administration is committed to working with tribal government in a productive manner for the benefit of all Oklahomans,” Fallin said. “The signing of these compacts will provide both the state and Kaw Nation with new revenue that will enhance the availability and quality of government services for all Oklahomans, especially the tribal and non-tribal members in north central Oklahoma which the Kaw Nation already serves.” Kaw Nation Chairman Guy Munroe said, “These compacts provide certainty to the Kaw Nation and provide a foundation for a continuing strong relationship between the Kaw Nation and the state for the benefit of our members and the members of our local community.”
The Kaw Nation’s tobacco compact was set to expire on June 30, 2013. This is the first expiring tobacco compact that the Fallin administration has renegotiated. The agreement signed sets the terms of taxation and on the sale of tobacco products on tribal land. The burn ban compact, an idea brought to the state by the Kaw Nation officials, establishes an intergovernmental agreement on the issuance and execution of burn bans between the Kaw Nation and the state.
Cheyenne and Arapaho Compacts
The Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes signed a new tobacco compact and a burn ban agreement with the state of Oklahoma on April 5 in a ceremony at the Oklahoma State Capital. The new tobacco agreement will go into effect July 1, 2013. The other agreement signed by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes’ Governor, Janice Prairie Chief-Boswell, was the burn ban agreement. The agreement simply states that the tribes will follow the Oklahoma burn ban notifications on their tribal land. Both of the compacts are identical to the ones signed by the Kaw Nation in March.
The tribes also settled a dispute with the state of Oklahoma by agreeing to take down their new Internet gaming site. However, the two entities signed a settlement agreement allowing the tribes to re-launch the gaming site on an international basis with the state of Oklahoma receiving 20 percent of revenue collected from the site. The tribes had launched the online gaming site a couple of months earlier in the belief it was permitted under the terms of its current gaming compact with the state of Oklahoma.
AG Letter on ObamaCare
On March 26, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt joined attorney generals from 12 other states to request for-profit business owners who object on conscience grounds. Oklahoma and attorney generals from the following states signed the letter: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. The letter argued that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should adopt broader religious exceptions to the HHS mandate that all businesses and non-profit organizations purchase insurance for contraception and related services. The HHS mandate concerns the implementation of ObamaCare. The attorney generals sent a signed letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The letter identifies several problems with the proposed regulations under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which requires “strict scrutiny” of all actions by the federal government that burden the exercise of religion. The regulations give only some nonprofit religious organizations an exception to the mandate, even though there is no compelling reason to treat religious organizations differently. Lastly, the regulations provide no exception to the mandate for for-profit business owners who object on conscience grounds. Oklahoma and attorney generals from the following states signed the letter: Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.
ObamaCare Driving Up Insurance Premiums
State Rep. Mike Ritze (R-Broken Arrow) said that a study by the nation’s leading group of financial risk analysts confirms what conservatives have long claimed – ObamaCare will balloon health care costs. According to a March story in USA Today, the Society of Actuaries has concluded that most states will see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets and that medical claims costs will jump an average of 32 percent for individual policies. The study did not look at the impact on people who have coverage through their jobs. “This is a credible, non-partisan group that is concluding that the Affordable Care Act will not act as advertised,” said Ritze,. “It is going to increase health care costs and that does not bold well for Americans. The best way to reduce the damage to our own state will be to resist the implementation of the law in any way that we can.”
Insurance Commissioner Refuses
The Oklahoma Insurance Department will not participate in a collaborative effort with the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) to enforce the Affordable Care Act, according to a letter released by Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak. “It is unfortunate that health insurers are being forced into a system of dual regulation by the overreaching Obama administration,” Doak said. “My position on this has never wavered and I welcome every opportunity to try to overturn ObamaCare.” The letter was sent to CCIIO Deputy Administrator and Director Gary Cohen indicating that the Oklahoma Insurance Department does not have the authority to enforce federal law. In the letter, Doak wrote, “I execute my duties collaboratively with the governor and legislature of Oklahoma to meet the needs of the citizens we represent and the requirements of the Insurance Code of the Oklahoma Statutes.”
The Oklahoma Insurance Department regulates the health insurance policies sold in the state and responds to consumer questions and complaints. In addition to adding new fees to health insurance products increasing prices both inside and outside the exchange, ObamaCare requires plans to add expensive and often unnecessary coverage benefits. These costs will impact young adults most severely due to the law’s requirement that older Americans pay no more than three times the premium of young adults. A survey of insurers by the American Action Forum found that average premiums for young healthy adults may triple going into 2014.
ObamaCare Tax Resolution
A resolution calling on the president, vice president and Congress to eliminate or reform taxes imposed by the implementation of ObamaCare overwhelmingly passed the Oklahoma House, 70-11 on April 10. It previously passed the Senate 37-9 on March 11. Senate Joint Resolution 8, by House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa), sends notice to the executive and legislative branches of the federal government to look at ways to eliminate taxes that will result as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully implemented over the next few years. SJR 8 notes that Congressional reports show a large portion of the funding for ObamaCare will come in the form of increased premium taxes, from 2 to 2.5 percent by 2016. Also, it may cause premiums to increase by 3.7 percent by 2023. Such hikes would mean an increase in premiums of $2,800 per individuals and $5,000 per family over the next decade. It was observed that a number of Democrat lawmakers left the legislative chamber when the vote came rather than take a position on the resolution.
“Obama Phones” Program
On April 16, the Oklahoma Senate unanimously approved legislation establishing regulations for the Lifeline Program – a federal program administered by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. The program, widely known as “Obama phones,” provides phone service for qualifying low-income individuals. The bill by Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City) and Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman) would require phone service providers participating in the program to verify the eligibility of their customers. The measure would also limit recipients to one phone line.
The authors of the legislation say that while the state of Oklahoma doesn’t have a choice as to whether it participates in the program, it can ensure it is responsibly administered. Oklahoma telephone companies YourTel America Inc., and TerraCom LLC recently agreed to pay significant penalties resulting from an FCC investigation related to their participation in the program. Underscoring the potential for abuse in the system, Oklahoma companies received $236 million in connection with the Lifeline program in 2012, according to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. House Bill 2165 was approved by a vote of 41-0 in the Senate and previously passed the House 92-0 on March 6. The measure now returns to the House for further consideration.
Oklahoma IT Effort Featured
Oklahoma’s modernization reform efforts have drawn national attention following the publication of a cover story about the consolidation of Oklahoma’s information technology infrastructure in the winter edition of Public CIO magazine. The story describes the cooperation between Oklahoma’s legislative and executive branch officials to put into effect the state’s plan to breakdown interagency turf wars and realize substantial savings through a consolidation of IT resources. State officials believe the effort already saves approximately $40 million annually.
Detailed in the article are the multi-year efforts dating back to 2008 of state Reps. David Derby (R-Owasso) and Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie) to create and pass the IT consolidation policy. It highlights the political barriers that had to be overcome, the emergence and evolution of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Government Modernization Committee, the impact of that committee on state policy, and the leadership provided by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Oklahoma Chief Information Officer Alex Pettit. Public CIO is produced by e.Republic, the nation’s leading publishing, research, event and new media company focused on state and local government and education.
Oklahoma Financial Transparency
Oklahoma Secretary of Finance and Revenue Preston Doerflinger announced March 26 that a national transparency report gave Oklahoma an “A-“ in financial transparency, a major improvement from the “C+” grade the state received last year. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund’s “Following the Money 2013” report rates states on online access to government spending information. As Oklahoma’s central financial management agency, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) maintains several transparency websites providing state financial information, including OpenBooks and data.ok.gov, where the public can access millions of records related to government spending.
Oklahoma was one of only seven “Leading States” receiving an “A” in financial transparency from PIRG. Oklahoma’s score was 91, up from 78 in 2012. In addition, Oklahoma’s high-level of transparency was accomplished at surprisingly low cost to taxpayers, with startup expenses of just $8,600, using existing staff, and annual operating costs of just $3,600. One state listed startup costs of $2.2 million, plus annual expenses of $400,000. “We’re right where we should be, among the nation’s leaders. Few states made gains as big as ours this year, and few states are as cost-effective as we are,” Doerflinger said.
Pray For Rain
On April 22nd, interfaith leaders from around Oklahoma joined hands and called on all citizens of all faiths to come together to collectively pray for rain and to learn more about being good stewards of water. These faith community leaders gathered at the Oklahoma State Capitol for the kick off of the Interfaith Days of Prayer for Rain and Water Stewardship. They called for state-wide action on the dates of May 1, June 26 and September 18 and encouraged all Oklahoman’s to participate. Oklahoma Conservation Districts, the Oklahoma Conference of Churches and Whole Creation Community joined Lt. Governor Todd Lamb in calling for the faith based action.
OCPA Citizenship Award Dinner
Join former Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner and new president Sen. Jim DeMint at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) annual Citizenship Award Dinner on May 9, 2013. OCPA will honor the think-tank pioneer and welcome Heritage’s new leader. The event will be held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. For information call 405-602-166, or go to: www.ocpathink.org/citizenship-dinner
Death of Ken Nance
Former state Rep. Ken Nance died February 14. He was 71. He spent the past year battling a brain tumor and was recovering, but died from a lung infection. Nance represented District 91 in south Oklahoma City in the House of Representatives from 1968 to 1978. He worked on the House staff and was an assistant attorney general before being elected to the House. He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination to be Oklahoma Attorney General in 1978. An attorney, he built up his law practice after serving in the Legislature and in 1979 started a lobbying consulting firm.
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12/31/1969 06:00 PM
Members and friends of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action
++ MEETING CANCELED - Due to Monday’s tragic tornado, tonight’s
(5.21.13) Common Core Curriculum meeting in downtown Edmond has been
canceled. It will be rescheduled at another time.
++ HELP FOR STORM VICTIMS - If you are a Christian and want to help ...Continued Inside...
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