OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

February 16, 2012

Martin/Tibbs Block Anti-RFID Bill – Again

OK-SAFE Inc. – Evidence of the powerful RFID lobby in the Oklahoma Legislature, the bill prohibiting RFID tags in the OK drivers license will only be heard in committee if the author of the bill agrees to new language allowing RFID tags in the Oklahoma drivers license.

Rep. Steve Martin, vice-chair of the House Public Safety committee, has offered a proposed committee substitute for HB 1399, by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft.  Martin’s proposed language is a backdoor attempt to allow the state to imbed RFID tags in drivers licenses and state issued-identification cards, while limiting their use.

Currently, the state of Oklahoma does not allow RFID tags in their drivers licenses, despite the federal push to add them. (See prior post on this bill here and information on the REAL ID debacle here.)

If Wesselhoft refuses Martin’s new language, committee Chairman Rep. Sue Tibbs will not allow the bill a hearing.

If the bill’s author agrees to the substitution, and that language passes, the state will have opened the door to having RFID tags in the drivers licenses, the very thing HB 1399 was trying to prohibit in the first place.

Both Tibbs and Martin blocked this bill last session, when the bill was originally introduced.

Such is the power of the chairman’s position – and why a bill like HR 1004 is so necessary.  (HR 1004 is a proposed rule change introduced by Rep. Charles Key at the beginning of the 2011 session that would require a chair to hear a bill if the author asked for it to be heard in committee. House leadership has effectively blocked the passage of this resolution.)

OK-SAFE recommends that Wesselhoft rejects the Martin committee substitute language.

HB 1399 Language, amending Title 47, Section 6-111:

7.  The Department of Public Safety shall be prohibited from embedding, affixing, adhering or assigning any radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to any driver license or identification card.  The Department shall further be prohibited from utilizing any type of RFID ink in any format or configuration onto or into any driver license or identification card.  As used in this paragraph, “radio frequency identification” means a data collection technology system that uses electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to transmit signals that contain unique identification or location information of persons or products.

Martin’s Proposed Committee Substitute:

The Department of Public Safety shall be prohibited from embedding, affixing, adhering or assigning to any driver license or identification card any device, object, or technology with any of the following of the characteristics or capabilities contained herein:

           a. ) The conveyance of information of any kind concerning the owner or subject of the driver license or identification card not presented in the legible text of the driver license or identification card.

           b.)  The capability of the card to be remotely read while being held in a wallet or purse.

Translation:

The proposed language and section a.) does not prohibit a RFID tag in/on the state drivers’ license or identification card.   It allows an RFID tag that contains some information.  In other words, it’s a way to put RFID tags into the state drivers licenses and ID cards, while limiting the information to be the same as what is readable on the card.  If put into place, this language can later be amended to expand the RFID data requirements.

Further, section b.) does literally nothing to protect the RFID tag from being remotely read. Because people have to take their driver’s license out of their wallet or purse so frequently – i.e. writing a check, getting a prescription, getting a credit card, for ID when making a return at a store, to get into some buildings, to buy an airline ticket, to board a plane, etc. – their drivers license is exposed a great deal of the time, leaving plenty of opportunity for it to be read remotely.

OK-SAFE believes this is an attempt at slight of hand and again recommends Wesselhoft rejects the Martin/Tibbs proposals.

 

January 19, 2012

UPDATE – BILL PULLED! SCR 27 (not 67) by Ellis – Promotes “Sustainable practices” Statewide

1/26/12 UPDATE to this Post:

The phone calls and emails worked – Senator Ellis has pulled SCR 27.  This bill will not be heard this session.  What is still unknown is who provided him with the language in the first place and why.

Having said that, this language could appear someplace else so it will have to be watched.  In the meantime, emails and calls need to go out to Senator Ellis thanking him for pulling this bill.

  • Email: ellis@oksenate.gov
  • Phone: 405-521-5614

Now back to the other bills filed this session.  To find the Text of Legislation filed for 2012 go to www.oklegislature.gov, hover over Legislation, then click Text of Measures. (Be sure to check both Senate and House bills.)

One of this year’s most contentious issues will be Health Care (Title 63 bills) and Insurance (Title 36 bills).

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In doing a preliminary run-through of the Senate bills filed for the 2012 session in Oklahoma, we found Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 67 27 filed by Senator Jerry Ellis.

For those unfamiliar with the subject of sustainable development, here it is in a nutshell:

Sustainable development is defined as “Development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” From the Brundtland Report in 1987).  It is a political agenda documented in a report called Agenda 21, and is the policy adopted by the U.S. in 1992  – it is designed to regulate and limit every single human activity.

This includes the removal of land from future development and use; the adoption of cookie-cutter comprehensive development plans that limit options and densify towns and cities; adoption of comprehensive water use plans that severely limit the rights of property owner’s;  adopting policies and technology that quantify and measure energy use and consumption with the intent of eventually curtailing its use (i.e. Smart Grid and Smart Meters);  “walkable communities” that limit the ability of one to easily use and drive a care; and more.

(For more information click here. Click  here for OK-SAFE’s Brief Overview of Sustainable Development. Check out Freedom Advocates website for great research on what’s wrong with Agenda 21 and sustainable development policies.)

Ellis seems like a nice enough person; not sure who provided him with the language in  SCR 67, or who persuaded him to run it, but it is pure Agenda 21-sustainable development-type language.

Folks might want to email and/or call Senator Ellis and politely ask him to pull this bill.

Ellis’ biography: http://oksenate.gov/Senators/biographies/ellis_bio.aspx

SCR 67 27 language below:

STATE OF OKLAHOMA

2nd Session of the 53rd Legislature (2012)

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION 27                      By: Ellis

AS INTRODUCED

A Concurrent Resolution resolving to promote sustainable practices in developing the natural resources of this state; and directing distribution.

WHEREAS, We, the Oklahoma Legislature, commit ourselves to building a humane, equitable and caring society, cognizant of the need for human dignity for all; and

WHEREAS, the future belongs to our children, and accordingly we must ensure that through our actions they will inherit a world free of the indignity and indecency occasioned by poverty, environmental degradation and patterns of unsustainable development; and

WHEREAS, we are determined to ensure that Oklahoma’s rich diversity, which is our collective strength, will be used for constructive partnerships for change and for the achievement of the common goal of sustainable development; and

WHEREAS, we reaffirm our pledge to place particular focus on, and give priority attention to, the fight against conditions in Oklahoma that pose severe threats to the health and welfare of our people, which include chronic hunger, malnutrition, illicit drug problems, organized crime, corruption, natural disasters, environmental pollution, drought, terrorism, intolerance and incitement to racial, ethnic, religious and other hatreds, endemic communicable and chronic diseases; and

WHEREAS, we believe that in pursuit of their legitimate activities, the private sector has a duty to contribute to the evolution of equitable and sustainable communities and societies, recognizing there is a need for private sector corporations to enforce corporate accountability, which should take place within a transparent and stable regulatory environment; and

WHEREAS, Oklahoma is particularly blessed with natural resources, diverse in its agricultural resources, mineral wealth, timber resources, and water resources; and

WHEREAS, agriculture is a fundamental part of Oklahoma society and we believe that its promotion and sustainable development is an integral part of our children’s future; and

WHEREAS, oil, gas, mineral and timber development is likewise a part of Oklahoma’s proud heritage, and we believe that its promotion and sustainable development should be a proud and productive part of our children’s future; and

WHEREAS, the waters of Oklahoma provide significant and important services to our citizens by increasing and maintaining the value of real estate, helping to regulating our climate, providing water-related recreation, such as fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and photography, swimming and boating and provide for a healthy environment in which we all live and work; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that as Oklahoma grows to provide a brighter future for our children, conflicts will escalate as demands for resources, including water, productive agricultural land, and mineral resources increase.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE 2ND SESSION OF THE 53RD OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN:

THAT to overcome these conflicts and ensure a sustainable partnership of our government, people, and the businesses and industries located in our state, we resolve to promote sustainable practices in the development of our state’s natural resources.

THAT a copy of this resolution be distributed to the Governor, the Secretary of Environment, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce and Tourism, the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

February 11, 2011

OK House Fails First Test

The 53rd Session of the Oklahoma Legislature formally opened on Monday, February 7, 2011 and promptly failed its’ first test.

The Republican-led House shut down an opportunity to institute open-government rules changes, choosing instead to maintain the status-quo – the inherited top-down control of the legislative process. 

Several House members failed the backbone test as well, fearful of casting a vote opposite of their party’s  “leadership” vote.

[The House did pass a few rules changes but only those that dealt with bills that have been allowed to advance by leadership at the onset.]

Why the Rules are Important

At the beginning  of each 2-year session, both the House and Senate adopt rules by which they will operate for those 2 years.  These rules define not only the duties of the legislators and dictate their day-to-day conduct (no cussin’, swearin’, or spittin’), they determine how the legislative process will be conducted.

Just like a piece of legislation, the proposed House rules are submitted to staff at the beginning of session and assigned a bill number. The rules bill (measure), again like legislation, may be amended and its’ adoption debated. Rules must be in effect before any other actions by the legislature can proceed.

HR 1008, House Rules for the 53rd Legislature, was the only measure before the House members on Monday.  

HR 1008 

HR 1008 House Rules started from a template of last session’s rules and included changes offered by a 5-member committee who met prior to the beginning of session. (When asked by one legislator, House members were told that this committee had met prior to session, working a total of 5 hours drafting the proposed new rules.) 

On Monday, 37 amendments to HR 1008 were presented for consideration by the House members.

Of the 37 proposed amendments, two were submitted by Rep. Charles Key (R- HD 90);  HR1008 FA2 dealt with making bill assignments by title of law to specific committee; the other and more significant amendment, HR1008 FA3, dealt with the concept of open government.

[View the archived 02/07/2011 House Video here.  The Rules discussion begins at minute marker 02:52:50; allow time for “buffering” when advancing the video stream.] 

Floor Amendment 2 by Key  

Floor Amendment 2 was a practical change and stated that “each committee of the House shall be assigned titles of the Oklahoma Statutes which are the responsibility of that committee. On the second reading of a bill or joint resolution, if assigned to a committee, the assignment shall be made based on the title or titles of law contained in the bill or joint resolution.”   (There are 85 titles of law in Oklahoma. Each bill (measure) must specify the title or titles of law it is affecting.  Common sense dictates that all bills dealing with Title 68, Revenue and Taxation, for instance, should go to one committee for consideration, and so on.)

Floor Amendment 3 by Key – The House Failure

Floor Amendment 3, aka the open government amendment, was the big kahuna. It addressed the legislative process at the front end and was the most significant of all the proposed rule changes.   

This amendment stated that “After assignment to a standing or special committee, the principal author of a bill or resolution introduced on or prior to the filing deadline of the First Regular Session and the principal author of a bill or resolution introduced after the filing deadline of the First Regular Session and on or prior to the filing deadline of the Second Regular Session shall be entitled to have such bill or joint resolution considered at least four (4) legislative days prior to the final date for the Third Reading in the First Regular Session or Third Reading in the Second Regular Session respectively or prior to any date designated as a deadline for reporting bills and joint resolutions from committee if the principal author submits a request to the Chair of the  committee. ”

This means that if the author of a bill submits a request to the committee Chair asking that his bill be heard in committee, and complies with specified deadlines, the bill will have to be heard in that committee.  This amendment did not state, nor does it mean, that ALL the bills will heard in committee.

Floor Amendment 3 further stated,  “If a bill or joint resolution is reported from committee, the bill or joint resolution shall be heard on the floor of the House prior to any date designated as a deadline for third reading and final passage if the principal author makes a written request for such consideration to the Speaker of the House…”

Again, if the principal author of a bill makes a written request to the House Speaker that he wants his bill heard on the floor (after passing out of committee) it will be heard and voted on.  Period.

Why This Rule Change is Needed

It’s simple.  The current practice of the Oklahoma Legislature is to allow the Committee Chair to kill any bill he/she wants, thereby limiting the bill process from the outset. Conversely, this current practice means that the Chair controls which bills are allowed to move forward. This is a tops-down, dictorial control of the legislative process.  

Committee Chairs are appointed by the Speaker of the House.  If an outside influence wants to control the legislative process, and determine the outcome,  all they have to do is control who gets to be Speaker of the House and the Senate ProTempore.  The rest is done through the power of appointment to the Committee Chair position.  (Wonder which…ah…strategies….they used to get this system in place?)

The Floor Debate

The House Rules proceeded with Floor Leader Dan Sullivan (R-HD 71) introducing HR 1008. (See minute marker 02:52:52).

Three Floor Amendments, by Reps. Blackwell, Kern and Jackson, were adopted first. (03:03:28 to 03:12:00). 

Next, Rep. Charles Key’s (R- HD 90) Floor Amendment 2 was introduced (03:15:00), followed by a question by Dan Sullivan. After the question, Sullivan’s next move was to table the Key amendment.

The tabling motion passed 56 Ayes to 42 Nays, (03:18:42), causing the first Key amendment to be laid aside. 

Rep. Key’s Floor Amendment 3 was introduced next. (03:19:00.)  After questions from the members, Rep. Ron Peters (R- HD 70, Tulsa) moved to table this amendment as well. (03:26:18).

Peters tabling motion failed by a vote of 45 Yeas/53 Nays, which kept the amendment alive. 

At this point the momentum was in support of the open governement concept, acknowledging the right of bills to heard in committee, if requested. 

The next 20 minutes were devoted to questions and answers about the amendment. Some questions were ridiculous, “Oh my, how would we handle this?”

Rep. Don Armes was flat out insulting about some of his constituency back home; he implied that stupid bills are suggested by folks (“you all know the kind I’m talking about”) he meets in the local coffee shop.  (03:31:17) Folks in Lawton may want to give him a call and ask him exactly to whom was he referring?

Dan Sullivan (R-HD 71) debated for 10 minutes against the open government amendment.  “Does that mean we have to spend the time and resources of our little time that we have in committees to deal will those bills? The answer is No.”  Using a ridiculous bill about requiring cloth napkins in bar-b-que restaurants as an example of a time-wasting bill, Sullivan clearly supports top-down control of bills.  “Should we spend the time and resources of this body dealing with bills like that? The answer is No.  We have bigger things to do than to deal with some individual legislator’s pet project that may not be a good idea, that may not pass this body.”

Rep. Dan Sullivan has himself introduced 32 bills this session, which most likely include someone’s pet project.  His HCR 1002 , co-authored by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, Commends Turkey (the country, not the bird). 

 

Turkey, 98% Muslim and no friend of Israel, is not a constituency represented in the Oklahoma House.  Perhaps Sullivan and Stanislawski meant to commend Turley, which is actually in Oklahoma?

Talk about wasting time and resources, HCR 1002 wins the prize in that category. 

Whipping and Flipping the Vote

Not visible on the video as clearly as it was in the House chambers on Monday was the “whipping” of the members by Republican leadership to “flip” this 45/53 point spread to prevent passage of the Key amendment.

The “whipping” of the House members resulted in 11 members flipping their vote.

Because of the  “flippers”, the Key Amendment for open government was defeated by a vote of 42 Yeas to 53 Nays. (Minute Marker 04:34:00)

The flippers included freshman* Rusty Farley, as well as Don ArmesJohn Enns, Mike Jackson, Charlie JoynerJason Nelson, T.W. Shannon, Todd Thomsen, and Colby Schwartz.  Excused during this vote were Seneca Scott, Purcy Walker, Leslie Osborn, Jerry Shoemake and Sue Tibbs.

The 53 Nays (the ones who voted down the Key amendment) include:  Armes, Banz, Billy, Brumbaugh, Casey, Cockroft, Coody, Cooksey, Cox, Dank, Denney, DeWitt, Enns, Farley, Faught (big disappoint here), Hall, Hardin, Hickman, Holland, Jackson, Jordan, Joyner, Kirby, Liebmann, Martin (Scott), Martin (Steve), McCullough, McDaniel (Randy), McNiel, Mulready, Nelson, Nollan, Ortega, Ownbey, Peters, Peterson (another disappointment), Quinn, Richardson, Roberts (Dustin), Roberts (Sean), Russ, Sanders, Schwartz, Sears, Shannon, Stiles, Sullivan, Thomsen, Trebilcock, Vaughn, Watson, Wright, and the Speaker Kris Steele.

All 53 Nay votes were cast by Republicans.  So much for that.

Battling for Liberty, Standing on Principle

Some freshmen legislators have apparently been surprised by what one called the “lack of civility in the caucus” and are shook up at the realization that being a legislator and making law may actually involve vigorous debate and require intestinal fortitude. 

What were they expecting? Polite chit-chat and a dainty legislative process?  If so, perhaps they should go back home.  There is going to be debate, sometimes rancorous, and disagreement.  

Some of them appear, at least initially, to lack powers of discernment, not recognizing a tops-down, dictatorial control of the legislative process as being wrong.  Suggest they study the history of tyrannts, and learn the difference between a representative republic, a democracy, and a dictatorship.

2011 is the time to stand up for what is right, to protect liberty, and to vigorously advocate for sound policy based on time-tested principles of good governance.  It is not the time to complain that people aren’t being nice enough.

This writer respectfully suggests that certain legislators, both freshmen and tenured, should …(cough)…man up a bit. It won’t kill you.

*UPDATE 2/13/11 – Correction to the “flippers” list:- freshman Rep. John Bennett did not flip his vote on the Key amendment.  He voted against tabling the amendment and stayed consistent when voting for the amendment.  Thank you for the opportunity to correct this.

January 18, 2011

OK-SAFE Training Sessions – Tulsa

The Oklahoma Legislative Session begins on Monday, February 7, 2011, runs for 16 weeks, and ends on May 27, 2011.

Building on last year’s citizen training, OK-SAFE will be conducting 2 training sessions entitled Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process. (NOTE: The OKC session was conducted 1/15/2011.)

These meetings are subject-specific, and graduated by level of ability and interest. 

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own computers, note-taking material, and refreshments as these are working meetings.

  • Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011
  • Time: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: The HQ Building, 1008-B N. Hickory Ave., Broken Arrow, OK.    

Preliminary Agenda is detailed below.

1st Hour –

  • Introductory – The Basics. 1) Overview of the OK Legislative Process; 2) Identifying your legislator; 3) Contact information and lists; 4) Writing emails; 5) Making the OK Legislature and OSCN websites your home pages.

2nd Hour – 

  • Intermediate -Building on Hour 1. 1) The legislative process, including interim studies, introduced bills;  bill committee assignments; 2) The committee process; when to advocate for a bill; 3) Creating group email lists for House and Senate committees; 4) Understanding the role of Speaker/ Pro-Temp, Floor Leader, and Whips.  

3rd Hour –

  • Advanced – Taking off the Rose-Colored Glasses. 1) How to read a bill with understand; which OK titles of law to examine; 2) Understanding political doublespeak, i.e, smaller, smarter government, small business, advanced, quality job, knowledge-based economy; 3) The Quality Jobs Program Act; PrimeWIN; OSU-UML, the ‘contract verifier’ for OK; 4) Tax incentives/earmarks; who is benefiting from the passage of legislation.

These meetings are free and open to the public; however, we are asking for a small donation to cover the cost of printed material and room rental. 

Psalm 118: 8,9 – “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man; It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”

September 22, 2009

OK-SAFE Action Forum October 1st, 2009 – Training!

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , , — oksafeinc @ 3:29 am
The next OK-SAFE Action Forum will be Thursday, October 1st, 2009.
 
Oklahomans are aware of the growth of big government and have been stirred to action.  They’ve rallied together and protested to make their voices heard in the public square. Some folks are ready to move on to the next step, [getting involved in the OK legislative process], but  may be asking themselves, “How do I do that?” 
 
The next OK-SAFE Action Forum will be something all Oklahoma grassroots activists can use – a no-spin training session on “Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process”, focusing on the Oklahoma Legislature.
 
Topics will include:
  • Civic responsibility
  • Introduction to the Oklahoma Legislature website
  • How a bill is introduced
  • The course of a bill in the legislative process
  • Bill tracking
  • How to lobby

The bad policies of the federal government are implemented at the state level – the states can fight back, IF enough citizens understand the legislative process and get involved. 

Our rights have been given to us by God, not man, but “man” is working feverishly to remove those rights.
 
The Oklahoma Capitol belongs to the people; who typically lobbies the OK legislature, however, are multinational corporations and big government special interest groups.
 
This needs to change.  The people must take back their civic responsibility and become involved in the legislative process.
 
Make plans today to attend this training meeting.
 

Date: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009

Time: 6:45 pm to 8:15 pm
Location: Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 E. 93rd St., Tulsa, OK (93rd & S. Memorial) 
Disclaimer: The Hardesty Library (TCCL) is a meeting place only and is not a sponsor of this meeting. The TCCL system takes no position on the subject matter of meetings held in library facilities.

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