The Edmond Sun

Opinion

March 31, 2014

Cheaters want to regulate regular citizens

GUTHRIE — Throughout the years, Oklahoma legislators have created a massive tyranny of confusing and conflicting laws which benefit those who can afford to hire smart attorneys to navigate through the maze of conflicting statutes, but punishes the average citizen who has no such luxury.

Several lawmakers, including myself, have accepted the challenge of whittling away at this labyrinth of regulation. We started by taking on the repeal of some of the most ridiculous laws first in an attempt to eliminate as many laws as quickly as possible. Perhaps the day will come when the state’s entire legal code can be simplified and modernized.

To date, I think the effort has been a great success.

We introduced so many repeals that at one point a member of the opposing party rose in parliamentary objection over the number of bills introduced, apparently not realizing that most of these were not new laws at all but were actually repealers of old laws.

Some of my favorites which I have authored and are still working through the legislative process include: retiring the law that created a criminal offense for refusing to yield access to others on party line telephones and mandates that phone directories prominently publish notice of this law in bold typeface; lifting the legal mandate from sellers of watches to keep written records which could be taken by the district attorney at any time; and retiring the state’s Y2K liability protection law more than 14 years after the Y2K scare.

Also still alive are a series eliminations of more old state boards and commissions. The governor’s office has been extremely helpful in identifying which of these boards could be eliminated or consolidated.

You may recall that we have already cut 14 pages from the state’s directory of agencies, boards and commissions this session. Should our repealer bills win approval in the Senate, next year’s directory will be even smaller.

Of course, our efforts to repeal old laws are offset due to the continual passage of new laws. That’s why HJR 1003 is so important. HJR 1003 was approved by the House, and awaits Senate action. It would allow Oklahomans to vote to limit the Legislature and keep it from passing new laws every other year. This would not only significantly slow the flood of new laws, but would let legislators focus on the state budget and state agency accountability during the non-policy year.

Senate committees have already advanced a number of our proposals. They could be heard by the full Senate within days and signed by the governor soon thereafter.

It is my hope that this session proves to be the the “year of the repealer” and that it will be followed by many more.

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 jason.murphey@okhouse.gov.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Is English getting dissed?

    Is the English language being massacred by the young, the linguistically untidy and anyone who uses the Internet? Absolutely.
    Is that anything new? Hardly.
    Many words and expressions in common parlance today would have raised the hackles of language scolds in the not-so-distant past. For evidence, let’s look at some examples from recent newspaper articles.

    July 31, 2014

  • 'Too big to fail' equals 'too eager to borrow'

    Four years ago this month, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law, promising that the 848-page financial law would “put a stop to taxpayer bailouts once and for all,” he said. But recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a Detroit crowd that “the biggest banks are even bigger than they were when they got too big to fail in 2008.”
    Who’s right?

    July 30, 2014

  • Sheltons travel for better life for family

    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

  • Film critic Turan produces book

    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 www.edmondsun.com 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.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

Poll

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
Undecided
     View Results