There is tremendous interest about the upcoming November 2, 2010 election in Oklahoma. In addition to all the state-wide races, there are 11 state questions to be decided. Some of these questions, like SQ 744 on Education Funding, have gotten a lot of attention and have been discussed in depth by other groups. (We like to refer people to the ROPE website for the best summary of what is wrong with SQ 744). Like ROPE and many other groups we recommend a NO vote on SQ 744.
Other questions, just as important, have gotten a lot less attention.
Below is a summary of OK-SAFE’s positions on 10 of the 11 state questions on the upcoming November 2, 2010 Ballot. We have no recommendation on SQ 752, the Judicial Nominating Commission, deciding this needed more research to understand the full impact of this proposed change.
This summary is available as either a one-page printable pdf or a 5-page expanded version which includes the actual ballot wording, links to the originating legislation, and links to supporting documentation for our some of our positions.
The state questions:
State Question 744 – Education Funding – OK-SAFE Recommends a NO vote on SQ 744
Note: “SQ 744 is a proposal by the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) that would force the state to spend nearly a billion dollars more on education by cutting all other state agencies or raise your taxes by the same amount.” [Source: www.stop744.com] Further, it violates local control of education principles.
State Question 746 – Voter ID – OK-SAFE Recommends a NO Vote on SQ 746
Due to concerns that this measure is part of the incremental steps being taken towards the creation of a national/international ID card. NOTE: Mexico has created a National Biometric Identification card (fingerprints, photo, and iris scan) which is set to replace their current voter ID card.
State Question 747 – Term Limits for Statewide Elected Officials – OK-SAFE Recommends a YES Vote on SQ 747
State Question 748 – Apportionment – OK-SAFE Recommends a NO on SQ 748
Due to the continued concentration of powers being given to the Speaker of the House and the Senate Pro-Tempore, (paving the way for conflict of interest), this ballot measure raises some concerns, namely the issue of powers of appointment which removes accountability to the public versus commission members who are elected in general elections and who can ultimately be held accountable at election time.
State Question 750 – Ballot Access – OK-SAFE Recommends a YES Vote on SQ 750
Note: The rationale behind the changing of the election used is because of the massive shifts in voter turnout. The Presidential General Election usually has a higher turnout. Thus, the measure would generally have a lowering effect on the number of required signatures.
State Question 751 – English Language for Official Actions- OK-SAFE Recommends a YES Vote on SQ 751.
State Question 752 – Judicial Nominating Commission – OK-SAFE takes no position on SQ 752
[Observation: Given the current trend of the OK legislature, and the support of the State Chamber for this ballot question, the most likely appointees would be from the private sector with connections to special interest groups.]
State Question 754 – State Appropriations – OK-SAFE Recommends a NO Vote on SQ 754
Although in agreement with the initial intent of this legislation, there are serious concerns with limiting the power of future legislatures to amend the state’s Constitution; additionally, there are concerns about possible unintended consequences of undoing beneficial existing and/or future Constitutional formulas. (Heads up: the State Chamber of Commerce supports this bill)
State Question 755 – State Courts and Law- OK-SAFE Suggests a tentative YES on SQ 755
There are still concerns with consulting other states’ laws, i.e. states that recognize homosexual marriage, being considered in OK courts. One lawyer we consulted did not think this would be an issue, but his was an “opinion” only and not a point of fact.
State Question 756 – Health Insurance- OK-SAFE recommends a YES Vote on SQ 756
Even though this is the weaker of the two bills introduced in 2010 opposing the federal healthcare bill, it is the only option on the November 2, 2010 Ballot addressing this issue.
State Question 757 – Rainy Day Fund – OK-SAFE Recommends a NO Vote on SQ 757
Since the reserve money (our money) ends up in a Reserve Fund that the Legislature has demonstrated it will tap into for virtually any reason under the sun, we cannot support increasing this surplus revenue amount by 50%.
For further information and the actual ballot wording please see the OK-SAFE website.