Bingman called for a “thoughtful, reasonable and cautious tax cut,” which suggests that this year's tax-cut debate will involve a more modest — although possibly more achievable — rate reduction than those proposed last year without success.
Shannon, R-Lawton, vowed to make increased opportunity and state prosperity his chief goal. Yet he provided few policy specifics regarding how he would achieve that objective. Like Bingman, Shannon called for comprehensive workers' comp reform. He also endorsed tax reform, continued improvement of state pensions, better management of state assets and modernizing education. We'd like to hear more detail about these issues.
Bingman gave the broad outlines of a meaningful, although limited, policy focus, which suggests the Senate is prepared to ride point on the major issues of workers' comp, education reform and school funding. We're still not sure what specific legislative initiatives will truly be championed by House leaders.
Shannon's strongest comments were directed at the incompetence of the federal government. Few would disagree with his critique, but lecturing Washington isn't where the rubber meets the road in state government. Passing legislation in Oklahoma that benefits Oklahomans is what matters.
The Senate appears focused on that goal. For House lawmakers to do the same, Shannon should unveil a clear, specific agenda.