With a new legislative session under way, many eyes are on the State Capitol. Republicans control the Oklahoma State House of Representatives, power is divided evenly at the Oklahoma State Senate and the Democrats have control of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s offices.
Things appear to be kind and cordial from the get-go. Will it last? The question on everyone’s mind is, as the cable guy would put it, “Can they get ‘er done?” Can this Legislature work together to craft legislation that makes Oklahoma a better place?
Thanks to past Legislatures, we now have a casino on nearly every vacant lot in Oklahoma. Citizens are encouraged to throw hard-earned money to the wind in hopes of supporting education. There is even a new advertising campaign featuring school-aged children giving thanks for the ill-gotten gain that supports education in Oklahoma.
Where is that $300 million for schools the lottery was supposed to generate?
Somebody’s math isn’t adding up. Sure they have raised about one third of what they promised, but at what expense? Take the advice of the advertisements, and everybody comes out a winner. Where are the TV commercials featuring farmers, families and hard working Oklahomans who are having to sell property, pawn Christmas gifts and eat beans and rice to roll the dice or pick three in hopes of winning the big one?
Before we get too wound up and start blaming the boys and girls out at the Capitol, perhaps we need to ask ourselves if we didn’t get what we asked for. After all, somebody marked the ballot box in favor of these issues. If people of faith had taken the moral high road, the high rollers would be making their bets somewhere else. Instead, we have only ourselves to blame.
All is not lost. Last year was one of the greatest pro-life sessions in the history of the Oklahoma Legislature. Is it any accident last year brought us one of the largest pro-life Rose Day rallies in our state’s history? Unfortunately, for more than 1 million aborted babies, last year came too late.
Word on the street and in the halls of the Capitol is that our involvement in the legislative process makes a difference. So what are we going to do about it? Will we stay at home and sulk, or will we learn from our mistakes and take action. Every person has the potential to make a difference.
They say it’s a new day at the State Capitol. Unless we seize it, new opportunities during the new session will quickly fade into the same good intentions of yesterday.