• Tanning tax is an illustration of government folly

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    It’s included under Obamacare

  • President Obama needs to reverse course on defense spending

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Sep 16, 2014

    Analysis demonstrates need for proper spending

  • U.N. has more pressing concerns than climate change (thank goodness)

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 15, 2014

    MATT Ridley calls himself a “lukewarmer,” a person who’s somewhere in between when it comes to positions on global warming. Apparently, the number of such folks in high government positions is on the upswing — unlike the temperatures themselves. A United Nations climate change summit this month will have some empty seats. They would otherwise be occupied by officials from China, India and Germany, among others, who’ve decided that global warming isn’t quite as urgent as the U.N. and President Barack Obama think it is. Ridley noted in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed that the U.N. “no longer claims that there will be dangerous or rapid climate change in the next two decades.

  • Program helps kids learn more than fundraising techniques

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 15, 2014

    They also learn about manners

  • Oklahoma pension reformers should be encouraged by R.I. primary result

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 14, 2014

    NORMALLY the outcome of a Democratic gubernatorial primary in Rhode Island would have little bearing on Oklahoma politics. This year’s race is an exception. In the Rhode Island primary on Tuesday, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo won the Democratic gubernatorial nod, defeating two others. This is notable because Raimondo championed public pension reform in 2011 that Wall Street Journal editorial writer Allysia Finley declared “may be the country’s boldest …” Among other things, Raimondo supported ending cost-of-living adjustments for retirees until pension funds become 80 percent solvent. She supported increasing the retirement age from 62 to 67.

  • 'Repeal and replace' now more than a slogan

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 14, 2014

    One proposed alternative far cheaper

  • ScissorTales: An investment that's paying off for Oklahoma drivers

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Sep 13, 2014

    IMPROVEMENTS at driver testing sites in Oklahoma are proof that spending money wisely can pay dividends in state government. The Department of Public Safety had a public relations nightmare on its hands for a number of years, resulting from teenagers having to arrive in the middle of the night in hopes of landing one of the handful of spots available to take the driving test needed to earn a license. Too-few examiners, and no way to reserve a spot in advance, made for a miserable experience for many. In 2013, the Legislature gave DPS additional funding, which allowed the agency to hire more driver’s license examiners. DPS also has implemented an online system that lets folks make appointments to take the written test or the

  • Effects on Oklahoma families another reason to embrace corrections reform

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Sep 12, 2014

    THE debate over Oklahoma’s corrections policy generally focuses on how the state’s tough-on-crime approach has left its prisons crammed with men and women who are monitored by outmanned, overworked prison guards. It’s a costly, potentially dangerous mix. One facet of this debate that is too often overlooked is the effect that Oklahoma’s high incarceration rate has on the families of those who are locked up, particularly their children. No state locks up more females, per capita, than Oklahoma. Overall, our incarceration rate is among the five highest in the country. However many inmates are serving time for nonviolent offenses – from fiscal year 2005 to FY 2012, 44 percent of nonviolent admissions were drug related.

  • Education successes offer template for Oklahoma

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 11, 2014

    STUDENT achievement has surged dramatically in several countries around the world, surpassing the United States. Journalist Amanda Ripley convincingly suggests those nations’ experiences should inform education policy in Oklahoma. In writing “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way,” Ripley reviewed other nations’ school systems and interviewed foreign-exchange students. (This included a look at Oklahoma.) She discussed her findings at a luncheon last week hosted by Stand for Children, which advocates for better schools. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international test for 15-year-olds administered in reading, math and science.

  • Debate over arming of police departments sure to linger

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Thu, Sep 11, 2014

    Both sides have valid arguments

  • Planning is vital in Oklahoma City's streetcar effort

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Updated: Wed, Sep 10, 2014

    Other systems critiqued

  • Ray Rice case shines a spotlight on domestic violence

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Wed, Sep 10, 2014

    “GREAT job.” That was Jan Peery’s reaction to the news Monday that the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens had cut ties with their star running back, Ray Rice, after video from inside a casino elevator showed Rice punching his then-fiancee in the face, knocking her out cold. The video broadcast by the website TMZ is startling. But as Peery knows all too well from her many years as head of the YWCA in Oklahoma City, such brutality occurs regularly in homes across Oklahoma. Indeed on the same day the Ravens-Rice news broke, the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., issued a report showing Oklahoma ranks third in the nation in the rate of women murdered by men. “I was really pleased to see the organization take a stand,”

  • Oklahoma stands to benefit from new budgeting effort

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Tue, Sep 9, 2014

    THE National Association of State Budget Officers noted in a recent report that many states are in a similar situation fiscally. They have “limited resources with numerous demands for spending and not enough revenue to go around,” NASBO said. Oklahoma feels their pain. Agency directors go to the Capitol each year to (almost always) ask lawmakers for more money. Whenever they can, lawmakers try to oblige. This has been the practice for decades, although since the Great Recession most agency heads have seen their budgets shrink a bit, or perhaps be held steady. It’s a flawed system. When times are good, the Legislature writes bigger checks. When they’re not so good, the checks get smaller.

  • Still plenty of ignorance about U.S. energy industry

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 8, 2014

    Poll findings a concern

  • Report highlights importance of engaged college, university regents

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Mon, Sep 8, 2014

    MOST Oklahomans would be hard pressed to name a single person charged with the responsibility for the state’s colleges and universities other than perhaps a few highly recognizable school presidents. In a new report, a national organization suggests that the governance of the nation’s higher education system is out of whack. The report says weak governing boards are doing students and the general public a significant disservice. In its Governance for a New Era report, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni said trustees need to remember that they’re more than just boosters and that their responsibility isn’t just to institutions. Instead, their “primary obligation” is to taxpayers and students.

  • Report makes clear, Oklahoma must improve its execution policies, procedures

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 7, 2014

    THE Department of Public Safety’s investigation into the execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett leaves no doubt that Oklahoma must improve its policies and procedures for carrying out capital punishment. It can’t have another experience like this one. Lockett was executed April 29 for killing a 19-year-old woman in Perry in 1999. He shot his victim twice with a shotgun and then had two accomplices bury her alive. Cases like his are made for the death penalty. But the DPS investigation outlined a troubling series of events that resulted in the execution going awry. Prison officials eventually lowered the blinds and Lockett was pronounced dead 43 minutes after the procedure began.

  • Residency issue a challenge for some candidates

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Sun, Sep 7, 2014

    Two U.S. senators face questions

  • Scissortales: Railroads have the attention of state, Oklahoma City officials

    The Oklahoman Editorials | Published: Sat, Sep 6, 2014

    RAILROAD crossing. Look out for the cars. Can you spell that without any cold hard cash? By 2016, if everything tracks according to plan, the central part of Oklahoma City will be a railroad “quiet zone.” Elsewhere in the state, the focus isn’t on train noise but railroad safety. Two initiatives will be taking place simultaneously. One is to facilitate downtown residential development by making trains quieter as they pass through the heart of the city. A combined $3.9 million in public and private funds will be used to soften the auditory blow of trains, which affect office workers as well as residents.

  • Capitol repair is no easy task, as many states have found

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Updated: Thu, Sep 4, 2014

    AFTER years of dithering, lawmakers this year finally approved a $120 million bond to repair the crumbling and dilapidated Oklahoma Capitol building. The early stages of that effort are underway. The years of delay undoubtedly mean the project will cost far more than the $120 million allocated. The foot-dragging and its financial consequences may frustrate many citizens, but State Legislatures magazine reports that these politically created challenges are hardly unique to Oklahoma.

  • Iconic musical continues to make Oklahomans proud

    The Oklahoman Editorial | Published: Fri, Sep 5, 2014

    “ICONIC” is an overused word but it seems especially apt to describe a motion picture that last week had a special showing at Oklahoma City Community College. The movie is “Oklahoma!” The musical, which started a lengthy and lucrative run on Broadway in 1943, continues to make Oklahomans proud. It achieved a level of immortality when it was adapted for the big screen in 1955. Like its stage run, the Oscar-winning film also proved to be a huge hit. “Oklahoma!” is a feel-good movie, year after year. Surely the hundreds who saw it at OCCC relived the film’s magic and charm. And before we came to know and love Carrie Underwood, Kristin Chenoweth and Jane Jayroe, the state had another sweetheart. Her name is