MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

October 27, 2010

Recap of state questions

— There are 11 state questions on Tuesday’s ballot. Here is a quick recap of our recommendations on them.

SQ 744: Vote no. SQ 744 would require Oklahoma to increase the amount of money spent on each student in public schools to a regional average. Oklahoma would have to spend approximately $924 million more a year if this passes. It would be very damaging to the rest of the state.

SQ 746: Vote yes. SQ 746 would require every person appearing to vote to show ID. This is a no-brainer and will prevent possible voter fraud.

SQ 747: Vote yes. SQ 747 imposes term limits on governor, lieutenant governor, insurance commissioner, schools superintendent, labor commissioner, attorney general, state auditor and treasurer. We have long been in favor of term limits.

SQ 748: Vote no. SQ 748 would redesign and rename the membership of the state apportionment commission. This would be another pointless referendum.

SQ 750: Vote yes. SQ 750 reduces the numbers of signatures needed on petitions. Currently, Oklahoma is one of the toughest states in the nation in this category. It is time for change.

SQ 751: Vote no. SQ 751 would make English the state’s official language. This is another pointless referendum. And although it allows leeway for Native American languages, we believe it still is disrespectful.

SQ 752: Vote yes. SQ 752 would change the way finalists are nominated for open judicial spots. It will water down lawyers’ influence on the list while keeping the governor as the final authority.

SQ 754: Vote no. SQ 754 would prohibit amendments that would base state appropriations on formulas or how other states spend their money. This is yet another needless referendum — a frighteningly worded one at that. If passed, it could not be repealed, according to its wording.

SQ 755: Vote yes. SQ 755 would prohibit judges from using international law, and, more specifically, Sharia law, when making their rulings. As we’ve said before, your rights end where mine begin.

SQ 756: Vote no. SQ 756 would allow Oklahoma to reject any law or rule that requires a person to take part in a health care system. If passed, it will end up costing the state money we can’t afford to waste because of the legal battle that will ensue.

SQ 757: Vote yes. SQ 757 would increase the maximum amount that can be placed into the rainy day fund from 10 percent to 15. This isn’t a mandate. Legislators won’t be forced to make that number. They aren’t forced to put money into the rainy day fund. But right now, they are limited on how much they can put in the fund. It just makes sense.

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