Archive for the ‘oklahoma politics’ Category

Working To End Taxpayer Funded Abortions

May 14, 2007

This week the Oklahoma House of Representatives took action to again send to the Senate and the Governor an important pro-life measure. Senate Bill 139 (SB 139), authored by Oklahoma City Democrat Rebecca Hamilton, would stop the use of taxpayer money from funding almost all abortions. SB 139 is very similar to Senate Bill 714, which passed both the House and the Senate earlier in the session but was later vetoed by the Governor.

The Senate has twice attempted to override the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 714, but both attempts fell just one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed. Because the Senate could not override the veto, the bill was bottled up in the Senate and the House did not get to vote on the override attempt.

SB 139 offered an opportunity for those of us in the House to again press the issue that taxpayer resources should not be used for abortions. It is important for us to take action, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because of the groundswell of public support for this policy. I have received more calls in support of Senate Bill 714 than any other bill this year. It is clear that people do not want their tax dollars used to destroy life and they are demanding the government take action.

In order to entice the Governor to sign this measure, authors of the bill have used almost identical language as that in Senate Bill 714, with slight changes in wording. This new language may be instrumental in chipping away support from Senators who until now have been willing to back the Governor’s veto.

In order for SB 139 to pass the House, it faced the difficult hurdle of two procedural votes requiring approval from two-thirds of the members of the House. Tony Lauinger, State Chairman of Oklahomans For Life, stated that these were the most important pro-life votes of the year. Each vote passed by a margin of one vote and I was pleased to cast my vote to help insure passage.

During the upcoming two weeks, your continued support of ending the policy of taxpayer funded abortions will be vital to the success of SB 139. Thank you for calling my office with your concerns. Please continue to contact the Governor and your Senator as well.

As always I may be contacted on the web at http://www.housedistrict31.com or on the phone at 557-7350.

Murphey Legislative Program

February 21, 2007

Murphey Legislative Update
2/21/2006

One of the most important issues before the legislature this year is Governor’s Brad Henry’s proposal to issue $663,362,000 of new bonded indebtedness.

I feel strongly that state government should avoid long-term debt. I believe it is irresponsible for politicians to saddle citizens with millions of dollars of debt and debt interest and then allow the bill to come due in the future when they are no longer in office. This places debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren. It also makes it difficult to reduce the size of government because government will be forced to keep taxes high in order to pay the debt and interest.

What seems particularly egregious about the Governor’s proposal is the fact that in a year when state government will have approximately $250,000,000 new dollars to spend, there is a move to incur millions of new debt.

Of additional concern is that the Governor’s proposal attempts to use this debt to fund non-capital items. Traditionally, government bonds are issued for capital projects such as the construction of buildings. However, in his budget proposal, the Governor appears to be seeking the authority to spend a sizable percentage of this debt on non state-owned capital items. This is money that will disappear into government bureaucracy, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for years to come.

It is also important to remember that the Oklahoma Constitution prohibits the government from going into debt. However, years of creative interpretation by the judiciary have made it possible for those who advocate for public debt to open up a Pandora’s box of spending.

If we are serious about rolling back big government and enacting important pro-growth reforms such as eliminating state income tax, this is an issue we can not afford to ignore. As it stands now, the job of reducing the size of government has been made difficult enough because of inappropriate spending by politicians of the past, such as raiding the teachers’ retirement system and leaving us with $7,000,000 of unfunded retirement system liabilities. I believe that members of the legislature must understand that it is our responsibility in representing the people to draw a clear line in the sand and defeat this attempt to mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren.