MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Editorials

June 1, 2013

Legislature’s early finish laudable

Oklahoma lawmakers adjourned the 2013 Legislature on Friday one week earlier than required.

By adjourning a week early, the Legislature saved about $140,000 in expenses for lawmakers and other session costs.

Last year the Legislature barely avoided the need for a special session when the Oklahoma House narrowly approved a $6.8 billion general appropriations bill to fund state government, hours after the same bill had failed.

This is an improvement worth applauding.

Legislators should finish their work on the budget in a timely manner. They did that this year. Saving taxpayers’ money by finishing early is a big plus.

Gov. Mary Fallin said she was pleased with legislators’ work to reduce taxes and overhaul the state workers’ compensation system.

Whether you agree with the governor’s agenda or not, achieving goals within the framework of time available is good. Doing it without brinksmanship while saving state dollars is even better.

Too frequently lawmakers get caught up in pet causes, side issues and actions that appear calculated to court to a particular constituency.

We understand the temptations, but it is vital that legislators remember that their constitutional responsibilities must come first. Completing the budget is one of those responsibilities.

Our Legislature finished its work on time this year. This is the way it should be.

Finishing early is a nice bonus.

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