STATE Rep. Randy Grau is floating a plan that, in theory, would give members of the Legislature more time to consider budget and spending issues and ultimately result in fewer laws being passed. We say “in theory” because, while the idea makes sense and is worth a close look, it's a stretch to believe his colleagues will help make it happen.
Grau, R-Edmond, would have the people vote on his plan. But the Legislature must sign off on sending the idea to a vote of the people. Given how much members enjoy telling others what to do, it's unlikely to reach the ballot box. Consider just a few of the bills that have been filed during this session:
•A bill by Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, seeks to straighten out the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, the organization that oversees high school and junior high sports in this state. Cleveland says schools use public funds to become OSSAA members; therefore, the OSSAA is a public body that makes Legislature's crackdown apropos. There's plenty of momentum behind this expansion of government responsibility by the party of smaller government.
•Rep. Steve Martin, R-Bartlesville, is author of a measure that prohibits cities and towns from establishing property registries such as the registry for vacant property that was approved unanimously by the Oklahoma City Council in December. The party that touts the merits and importance of local control is thus pushing to tell municipalities how to conduct their affairs.
•The “lawmakers know best” mindset is seen in a bill that would have the Legislature approve the sale of state-owned railroad lines. Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, says his bill would give the Legislature more control of track owned by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Apparently the folks at ODOT need the help.