What is the Oklahoma Senate Planning? Is this it? Hmmmmmmmm

Just got this in an email and I’m not sure why I am on the list.

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Office of the President Pro Tempore
Senator Greg Treat
Government reforms, education
highlight Senate GOP’s 2019 agenda
OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate Republicans will increase accountability in state government by creating a legislative budget office and will protect and honor the state’s $2.9 billion investment in education as part of their 2019 legislative session.
Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat and members of the GOP Caucus on Tuesday announced a four-point agenda for the upcoming legislative session.
“Our agenda is simple and precise but reflects four important areas that will have tremendous long-term impact for Oklahoma,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “We’ll have more budget transparency by creating a legislative watchdog to give lawmakers more information as we write the budget and measure the success of state programs. Education investment and reform are essential elements of our agenda too because we know they are key to our state reaching its full potential. Finally, advancing criminal justice reform by supporting diversion programs will impact many areas of our state in a positive way. With this agenda, we’re working toward helping Oklahoma achieve a better and brighter future.”
Treat said the Senate GOP agenda has a lot in common with 2019 goals so far indicated by Governor Kevin Stitt and leaders in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
“More cooperation between the Senate, the House and the governor’s office is great news for Oklahoma because we’re all collaborating around ideas that will make a difference long-term for Oklahoma,” Treat said.
Majority Floor Leader Kim David, R-Porter, who led the GOP agenda working group during the interim session, said the streamlined agenda highlights important issues critical to the success of Oklahoma.
“Our agenda reflects our commitment to making a long-lasting impact for Oklahoma,” David said. “Senate Republicans want the Legislature and the public to have more tools to hold agencies accountable. We also value students and teachers and will keep our commitment to both groups as we work on policies that support teachers and help students achieve their potential.”
Senator Roger Thompson, Senate appropriations committee chairman, said these priorities will be reflected in the Senate’s efforts during the budget negotiations.
“As we work on the budget you’ll see the priorities in this agenda reflected in what the Senate advocates for during budget negotiations,” said Thompson, R-Okemah. “Our economy is doing well, and coupled with tough choices made in the last few years, the state budget picture is better. The final revenue numbers remain to be seen, but we’re cautiously optimistic.”
The agenda is as follows:

Oklahoma Senate Republicans will establish a legislative budget office to provide greater accountability and transparency of taxpayer dollars.

Oklahoma Senate Republicans will add more accountability to state government by giving the governor authority to put into place the right leaders at state agencies to turn Oklahoma around.

Oklahoma Senate Republicans will honor and protect the $2.9 billion investment in our students and teachers, and we will restore 5-day school weeks, providing for reasonable exemptions, to enhance student outcomes and repair Oklahoma’s national reputation.

Oklahoma Senate Republicans will improve access to and provide funding for diversion programs to further criminal justice reform.
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I hope you read carefully before you read my comments.

In any case:
Where’s the money for the Top Ten teacher raise?
Where Greater concentration of power in the governors office is G
Accountability is A
The Constant corrupting power of errr power
P=C/A
Insert any number into the constant depending on how corrupting you think power can be and notice that as Power increases Accountablity Decreases.

They link Power to Accountability, but this is foolish.  Power does not increase accountability, my attempts at math aside. Whoever wrote this expects the reader us to support anything promising accountability. “Accountability” is priming word in this case. It is designed to make the reader more likely to accept the next idea.  This tactic might work.    Pay attention, people.  Think hard.

To be fair, President Obama was an absolute master of priming.  Most politicians have this skill on some level.

I’m sure restoring the 5 Day school week should be a LOCAL DECISION.

Government is best when it is closest to home. – attr to Ronald Reagan. It is a good idea.  Notice how they preface the 5 Day school thing with something we can agree with, protecting the money for education for last year.    More money!  Yay! That was is a great idea!    But that little paragraph has two (2) ideas and they are not equal either. The is no real linkage between the money which was for salaries only, and the teacher shortage and operational issues that will still impact rural schools.

You can look up “diversion programs” like I did. Or you can click here for an example. It is a good idea so far as I can tell.  But where are they going to get the money?   They can barely staff the prison with guards let alone start a new program.   Good idea.  Lets see how they pay for it.

I would love to hear your suggestions for things the Senate should consider.   If you say consolidation I already have a well researched blog post.   But let’s hear what you have.

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This is a post script.   I have been asked about the parts of the post that I didn’t mention and I thought it was a fair question.

“Senate Republicans will increase accountability in state government by creating a legislative budget office…….”

Accountability and transparency are two big buzz words right now.  Having a legislative budget office might help. I’m good with giving it a shot.   I’m not sure what I expect to find.   Those who feel like we are overtaxed point continuously at the problem in the Health Department.  It involves  $30 million dollars that was stashed in an account where it didn’t belong.  The theory must be that since there was one such problem there will be many many more.   I’m glad to have the $30 million back and going to people who need it.  But this was four tenths of a percent of the state budget.  It would take twenty five similar discoveries to equal last years tax increase for education. Even so, I am willing to give this new state agency a try.

And I didn’t say so in so many words, but the commitment to safeguard the teacher raise is a good thing.

That’s it. For now!

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