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Bills offer relief for Oklahoma wage earners

BY MARK COSTELLO Published: March 2, 2011
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While government union demands in Oklahoma have not yet reached the levels leading to the contentious demonstrations in Madison, Wis., the elimination of binding arbitration in our state is one such issue that might drive militants to the streets. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said recently that binding arbitration “is not acceptable. You are forcing increased taxes on taxpayers with them having no say, by people who come from a faraway place and have no accountability to the taxpayers.”

As labor commissioner, it is my duty to advance profitable employment opportunities for the wage earners of the Sooner State. That is why I am happy to report that relief is on the way.

Two courageous legislators, Sen. David Holt and Rep. Scott Martin, have introduced bills (Senate Bill 826 and House Bill 1576, respectively) that would restore equilibrium between the voters and their public servants. These legislators deserve the full support of citizens who believe in a just and sustainable society.

To be sure, merely introducing this legislation has made opponents of change unhappy. But in the words of Grandma Kramer, “They'll just have to get happy in the same pants that they got sad in.”

Costello was elected labor commissioner in November.