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53rd Oklahoma Legislature

"I take this matter very seriously and want to take steps to avoid even an appearance of impropriety," Rep. Will Fourkiller, D-Stilwell, wrote in a letter delivered Monday to House Speaker Charles McCall.

Oklahoma has a good bond rating, but the agencies have also given the state a negative outlook because of budget holes, tax cuts, higher education funding cuts and use of nonrecurring revenue to fund ongoing public services.

Oklahoma lawmakers have tough choices to make. Many aren’t fans of renewable energy subsidies. We’ve criticized subsidies too. But it’s important to recognize when a subsidy works and when it doesn’t. When it generates results, as opposed to simply being a boondoggle. And, just as important, as the famous song tells us, when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘e

Not only have Republicans supported education, but we saved the state’s road and bridge infrastructure with record funding after decades of neglect. We have also increased funding to other core services such as public safety and corrections. Our tax cuts and other job creation measures, as intended, have generally led to growth in state revenue since as Republicans contend, lower taxes encourage economic activity.

Recently announced cuts to common education are simply untenable. The so-called “unthinkable scenarios” of eliminating athletics, transportation and fine arts programs seem increasingly likely as state agencies brace for doomsday.

We must do better: for our students, our economy and the good of each and every Oklahoman.

Oklahoma City is home to several great museums, including the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Its Art Film Program includes an art house cinema, …

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Bingman is showing courage and leadership in making his proposal, and we admire him for taking the first step. It's not surprising that the forces of inertia were waiting to attack him from the start. Those who have a vested interest in keeping the state's education system weak won't give up easily. If the do-nothings are going to fight rational reorganization of the school system, we might as well do things the best way possible. That way we were less likely to need to do it again later, and we can have a faster positive impact on the school children of Oklahoma.

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The Oklahoma Legislature is male dominated. Only 18 of its 149 members are women — 12 in the House, six in the Senate — one of the lowest ratios in the country. Individually, their voices are strong and generally wise. We wish there were more like them.

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