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Fewer bills, laws could result from Oklahoma lawmaker's proposal

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: March 5, 2014 at 7:44 am •  Published: March 5, 2014
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•A bill by Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia, would require attorneys to “attend a seminar on the principles of federalism at least once every two years” for continuing education credit. For good measure, the curriculum for those seminars would be developed by lawmakers sitting on the States' Rights Committee of the Oklahoma House.

Grau's joint resolution proposes that during odd-numbered years, the Legislature only consider appropriations and budget bills. During those years, members would have more time to delve into budget requests and really debate the state budget. In even-numbered years, other bills would be considered.

“We pass far too many bills in the Legislature and devote far too little time to considering how to spend taxpayers' money,” Grau said. “I think we owe our citizens more than that.”

Last year, the House and Senate combined to file more than 2,500 bills and joint resolutions. Of those, more than 400 bills and 20 joint resolutions were signed by the governor. This year's legislative session began with nearly 2,200 bills filed.

Grau pointed out that our system of government was designed to make it difficult to pass laws, because each new law or new administrative regulation that's added to the books eats into citizens' freedom. “Somehow, we have all developed this mindset that the Legislature has to pass a lot of laws every year or we have been 'unproductive',” he said.

Oklahomans would likely argue that, where the Legislature is concerned, the less productivity, the better.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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