Proposed livestock rules would erode local control

The Oklahoman Editorial Modified: March 18, 2009 at 4:15 am •  Published: March 18, 2009
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The party of limited government has wandered off the trail more than once during this legislative session, with Republicans filing bills that require a double-take to make sure there really is an R next to the author’s name instead of a D.

One example is a bill by Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia, that would require public school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Presently, reciting the pledge is optional, as it should be. Moore contends doing so daily would "strengthen our culture and the nation’s traditions.”

(A Democratic member was quick to join in, filing an amendment last week that would require students to also recite the official salute to Oklahoma’s flag. Don’t ever let it be said our lawmakers aren’t focused on tackling truly important issues.)

One Republican senator said he was looking out for science teachers in his district when he filed a bill that he said would allow more latitude when teaching about or discussing such issues as stem cell research. The district superintendent said it was a non-issue. The bill, thank goodness, was killed in committee.

There are other examples of trying to stretch the government’s tentacles ever farther, one of the most questionable being a move to give the state Department of Agriculture sole authority over livestock regulations.

Sen. Mike Schulz, R-Altus, filed his bill at the request of his former employer, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, which is concerned about potential fallout from a California proposition that spells out how some farm animals are confined.


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