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Conservative policy ideas for 2023

The 2023 legislative session is fast approaching. Please take 30 seconds to contact your state lawmakers and ask them to consider these policy recommendations. You can even customize the text on the right if there’s a specific proposal you’d like your lawmakers to consider.

Taxation

  • End Oklahoma’s penalty on work by phasing out the state income tax.

Judiciary

  • Improve Oklahoma’s courts by getting rid of the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) and adopting a version of the American Founders’ system, with the governor appointing judges subject to approval by the state Senate.
  • Amend the state constitution to include a cap on noneconomic damages.
  • Amend Article 5, Section 46 of the state constitution to remove special-law restrictions on the passage of laws limiting civil actions.

Criminal Justice

  • Be tough—and smart—on crime by improving Oklahoma’s felony classification system.
  • Help Oklahomans with criminal records get back to work.

Public Education

  • Move school-board elections to the November general election ballot, thus improving voter turnout and giving parents far more influence over the selection of school board members.
  • Ensure that educators are trained to teach “based on the science of reading,” as our state superintendent says. Require that students be screened in reading three times a year in grades 1-3 and offer tutoring to those who need assistance.
  • Depoliticize education licensure requirements, professional development, and more.
  • Upgrade civics education in Oklahoma public schools to emphasize American ideas like individual rights and limited government power, to use more original source material, and to incorporate past and present stories of American service and patriotism.
  • Devote a larger share of state education spending to career and technical education, internships, and apprenticeships.
  • Provide state-funded liability insurance coverage for teachers.
  • Create a new, simplified education licensure pathway.
  • Require school officials to post the list of curricular materials, school assignments, course syllabi, the titles of assigned books and articles, homework questions, and in-class assignments on websites to which parents have access.
  • Require annual reauthorization for union-dues withholding, making it easier for dissatisfied teachers to leave a union. Require schools to get explicit annual authorization before withholding union dues from teachers’ paychecks.
  • Require active consent for content not mandated by state academic standards. Too often, parents note they must proactively opt-out a child from sexual and other sensitive discussions, often without knowing much in advance about the instructional content.
  • Create criminal and civil penalties for pushing pornographic materials on children.
  • Ban “action civics,” which teaches Oklahoma students community-organizing techniques so they can advance political goals rather than teaching actual civics.
  • Require each school district to submit a plan to remediate the decline in academic achievement caused by school closures, to be reviewed by the State Board of Education which should have the power to require additional instructional hours.
  • Require that no public education employee use a name to address a student other than the name listed on a student’s birth certificate (or derivatives thereof)—nor use a pronoun that is different from that student’s biological sex—without the written permission of a student’s parents or guardians.

Educational Choice

  • Create an Education Savings Account (also known as an Oklahoma Empowerment Account) program which allows parents to use a portion of their child’s per-student funding for school tuition, tutoring, online education programs, therapies, curricular materials, and more.
  • Create a personal-use tax credit for families.
  • Expand eligibility for the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship program.

Higher Education

  • Re-establish the educational mission of Oklahoma’s public universities, guarantee a wide range of freedoms in those universities, and establish a framework for proper university instruction in America’s ideals and institutions. Reduce or eliminate state appropriations to higher education as long as those institutions continue to undermine the strength and unity of American society.
  • Demand budget transparency by requiring Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities to publish online the budget that each department and administrative office requests and receives.
  • Prohibit the use of political litmus tests in Oklahoma’s system of higher education.
  • Uphold students’ First Amendment rights by ensuring that no public college or university in Oklahoma utilizes a “bias reporting system.”
  • Reform higher-education governing boards by shortening terms so that governance better reflects the opinions of the current electorate.
  • Reform the open-records law to close loopholes which allow universities to delay, obfuscate, and outright deny information that is rightfully owed to Oklahoma taxpayers.

Regulation

  • Consolidate agencies, boards, and commissions and place the larger agencies under effective gubernatorial control. Alternatively, move to sunset these entities so that they will be terminated by a certain date unless reauthorized by the Legislature.
  • Accelerate the pace of licensing review by the Occupational Licensing Advisory Commission and set specific goals for the reduction in the number of required licenses.
  • Use the “safe harbor” model in revision or enactment of regulations.
  • Enact a “regulatory sandbox” law which permits new, innovative businesses to apply to a state agency dedicated to providing regulatory relief for regulatory exemptions for a period of time (with the possibility of extension) sufficient for the new business to gain a foothold in the market.

Other Reforms

  • Provide high-school graduates with a workforce training voucher used to participate in education programs designed by employers for jobs in their industry (similar to this federal legislation).
  • Eliminate college-degree requirements for state jobs or contracts wherever possible.
  • Follow the example of several other states and eliminate the requirement for attorneys to attend a law school accredited by the left-leaning American Bar Association.
  • Ban any accreditation agency from operating within Oklahoma if it advocates racial discrimination in any form.
  • Ban puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, double mastectomies, castration, and other “gender transition” medical procedures for minors. Create a private right of action allowing people who had procedures performed on them as minors to sue the medical practitioner who performed it.
  • Clarify in the Oklahoma Constitution that voting is a right of U.S. citizens alone, not subject to alteration by future legislatures.
  • Amend the Oklahoma Constitution to prohibit Oklahoma from ever giving away its electoral votes via the National Popular Vote interstate compact.