Budget & Tax, Good Government

Lawmakers vote to increase state’s unfunded liability

House lawmakers have voted to increase benefit payments to some state government retirees, but have chosen not to provide an appropriation to fund the additional expense. Instead, lawmakers voted to raid pension system assets to cover the cost of the higher monthly payments, which will reduce the systems’ solvency, and they advanced the bill despite lacking any firm estimate of the associated cost.

Ray Carter
February 28, 2020
Good Government

‘At will’ worker measure advances

All new state government workers would be made “at will” employees under legislation that has advanced from a House committee, marking movement on a reform endorsed by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Ray Carter
February 26, 2020
Good Government

Bill advances to boost appointment power

Legislation that would increase the appointment power of the governor, House speaker, and Senate president pro tempore has gained easy approval in a Senate committee.

Ray Carter
February 26, 2020
Law & Principles, Good Government

Lawsuit-reform restoration advances

Legislation to reinstate caps on noneconomic damages in certain lawsuits has gained approval from a Senate committee.

Ray Carter
February 26, 2020
Law & Principles, Good Government, Judicial Reform

Lawmakers seek sunlight for Oklahoma judicial processes

The operations of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission have long drawn criticism for excessive secrecy and lack of public transparency. Two bills that have cleared a Senate committee seek to address that problem.

Ray Carter
February 25, 2020
Education, Law & Principles, Good Government

GOP defectors side with unions

Six Republican senators joined Democrats to defeat legislation that would require routine recertification elections for education unions, providing a victory for a teachers’ union that recently gave failing grades to most of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation.

Ray Carter
February 25, 2020
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