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Oklahoma State Questions 747, 748, 750, 752, and 757

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For information on the Oklahoma State Questions up for vote next Tuesday see http://www.ok.gov/elections/documents/sq_gen10.pdf.

SQ# 747 sets term limits for the elected offices of: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, Commissioner of Labor, Auditor and Inspector, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Insurance Commissioner, and Corporation Commissioner. All are set at 8 years except Corporation Commissioner which is set at 12 years. I think term limits are a good thing. I have to wonder why not limit the Corporation Commissioner to 8 years? I plan to vote YES on this Question.

SQ# 748 changes the size, makeup, and name of the Apportionment Commission. The Commission is only active if the Legislature fails to re-apportion the Legislative Districts after every US Census. In my opinion, the change would allow the leaders of the legislature to choose Apportionment Commission members that favor their way of re-apportionment. The present makeup of the Commission consists of three members from outside the Legislature: Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and State Treasurer. I would think they should be adequate for a task that MIGHT happen every 10 years. It has worked well for years; why change now? I plan to vote NO on this Question.

SQ# 750 changes the number of signatures required on a petition, making it easier to get a question on the state ballot. Given the number of questions, some of them frivolous, on this year's ballot, the process seems to be easy enough already. I plan to vote NO on this Question.

SQ# 752 adds two members, appointed by the leaders of the legislature, to the Judicial Nominating Commission. The Commission already has 6 non-lawyer members appointed by the governor and six lawyers elected by the Oklahoma Bar Association, one from each Congressional District. SQ# 752 also adds the restriction that the non-lawyer members can't have a lawyer in their family. The process of creating the Judicial Nominating Commission seems to work well already. I like the idea of allowing lawyers an equal say in choosing judge candidates from among their peers. Adding two more at large members chosen by politicians upsets the balance and is a step in the wrong direction. I plan to vote NO on this Question.

SQ# 757 changes the amount of surplus revenue that is reserved in the "Rainy Day Fund" from 10 to 15 percent. The recent recession has shown us that a 10 percent reserve is inadequate. Increasing it makes a lot of sense. I plan to vote YES on this Question.
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