The Edmond Sun


January 27, 2014

The year of the repealer has arrived

EDMOND — A little more than a year ago, the new leadership of the House of Representatives created a new committee structure. The Committee on Administrative Rules now has the stated mission to repeal unnecessary laws. When providing the committee with this directive, Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon sought to institutionalize the important principle that we as representatives should aggressively seek to reduce the number of laws on the books. This year several of us have taken this directive to heart and have filed numerous measures to repeal existing laws.

The importance of this challenge can be illustrated by a picture that you may view at This picture shows two stacks of books containing Oklahoma state statutes that are published every 10 years. The books in the first stack were published in 2001 while the second (a significantly taller stack of books) were published in 2011.

The comparison is shocking. In those 10 years, even as Oklahomans were electing a wave of small government conservatives, the number of laws that regulate every aspect of Oklahomans’ lives has greatly increased.

The importance of repealing laws isn’t lost on the public. Consider this email I recently received from a member of the local constituency:

“I often wonder why the Legislature is always trying to change or fix things. I would think that at some point you would be able to walk in and say, ‘Our work is done; no more bills or new laws.’ Only then would it be prudent to look at the old outdated laws, regulations, etc., and see if they are relevant to life today. I know you have discussed that in the past and it should be done during each term to purge old items from the books. In a way, this would be homework so when the Legislature convenes, the first thing to accomplish is to clean up the books.”

His point is well taken.

During the next few weeks I expect the Administrative Rules Committee will advance numerous repealer proposals. I have personally authored 11 repealers and look forward to doing my part. Other legislators have sponsored an array of additional proposals.

It should be our goal to ensure that when the 2021 law books are published, they are smaller in size than the 2011 series.

There is recent precedence for this type of progress. The Oklahoma Department of Libraries recently released the annual directory of Oklahoma government, which is commonly referred to the ABC (Oklahoma’s State Agencies, Boards and Commissions) directory. The most recent edition is actually 14 page lighter than its immediate predecessor. That’s 14 pages of government boards and commissions that are no longer in existence because of the consolidation and elimination proposals that we passed last year. This year we will continue the work of consolidating and eliminating more of these entities.

Session starts in just a few days and I look forward to repealing unnecessary laws and completely eliminating more state government organizations. It may be be painstakingly slow, but we are making progress in the effort to roll back government intrusion and restore individual liberty.

I look forward to discussing these and other ideas with constituents at this year’s House District 31 town hall meeting. It will take place at Waterloo Road Baptist Church at 7 p.m. Feb. 24. The invited guest is House Speaker T.W. Shannon. I hope you can attend.

REP. JASON MURPHEY, R-Guthrie, represents House District 31, which encompasses all of Logan County and a portion of northern Edmond. He may be reached via email at

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    Some time around 1865 a mixed-race African American couple, William and Mary Shelton, made their way from Mississippi to east Texas. Nothing is known for certain of their origins in he Magnolia state, or the circumstances under which they began their new lives in Texas.

    July 29, 2014

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    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
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    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
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    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

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    July 22, 2014


The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
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