Law & Principles , Good Government

Staff | November 16, 2023

A few dozen good ideas for Oklahoma lawmakers

Staff

Oklahoma’s 2024 legislative session is just around the corner. The deadline for state lawmakers to request bill drafting is December 8, 2023, and the deadline for filing bills is January 18, 2024. The legislative session begins on February 5, 2024.

Below are some policy ideas worth considering, along with background information, model legislation, and the relevant OCPA contact person.

Judiciary

  • Improve Oklahoma’s courts by getting rid of the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) and adopting a version of the American Founders’ system, with the governor appointing judges subject to approval by the state Senate.

Taxation

  • End Oklahoma’s penalty on work by eliminating the state income tax.

    • Background information here. Contact Curtis Shelton or Jonathan Small.

  • Ensure fairness for all Oklahomans by enacting trigger legislation declaring that any time an Oklahoman of American Indian descent is exempted from a state law or regulation, that law will be repealed for all other Oklahomans. It is especially important that lawmakers approve a trigger law for the personal income tax.

    • Background information here, here, and here. Contact Curtis Shelton or Ryan Haynie.

Culture and the Family

  • Protect children from online pornography.

    • Background information and model legislation here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Incorporate family-life components into public-school curriculum standards that would teach the success sequence (i.e., "that a high school diploma, full-time work, and having children after marriage are linked to less poverty and greater prosperity for adults").

    • Background information here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Protect the rights of Oklahomans harmed by “gender-affirming care” by enacting a Detransitioner Bill of Rights.

Education

  • Move school-board elections to the November general election ballot, thus improving voter turnout and giving parents far more influence over the selection of school board members.

    • Background information here, here, and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • To impede the “autopilot institutionalization of woke ideology” in schools, demand accountability by requiring local school boards to vote on certain hot-button cultural issues and display the results of the votes.

    • Background information here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Depoliticize education licensure requirements, professional development, and more.

    • Background information here. Model legislation here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Upgrade civics education in Oklahoma public schools to emphasize American ideas like individual rights and limited government power, to use more original source material, and to incorporate past and present stories of American service and patriotism.

    • Background information here and here. Contact Trent England.

  • Ban “action civics,” which teaches Oklahoma students community-organizing techniques so they can advance political goals rather than teaching actual civics.

    • Background information here, here, and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Expand eligibility for the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship program by eliminating the requirement that a student has spent the prior school year in attendance at a public school.

    • Background information here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Devote a larger share of state education spending to career and technical education, internships, and apprenticeships.

    • Background information here and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Provide state-funded liability insurance coverage for teachers.

    • Background information here and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Create a new, simplified education licensure pathway.

    • Background information here. Model legislation here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Require school officials to post "a list of curricular materials, school assignments, course syllabi, the titles of assigned books and articles, homework questions, and in-class assignments on websites to which parents have access."

    • Background information here, here, and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Require active consent for content not mandated by state academic standards.

    • Background information here and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Create criminal and civil penalties for pushing pornographic materials on children.

    • Background information here and here. Contact Trent England.

Higher Education

  • Address labor shortages by creating an “Oklahoma Workforce Needs” fund within the Oklahoma Department of Commerce that would help students pay for degree programs in STEM and other high-need areas.

    • Background information here. Contact Brandon Dutcher or Jonathan Small.

  • Hold college officials civilly liable when they violate people’s rights. "Allow for private causes of action that could be brought by anyone, with steep penalties."

    • Background information here and here. Model legislation here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Following the lead of policymakers in Texas and Florida, "abolish the DEI bureaucracy and restore colorblind equality in all public universities."

    • Background information here. Model legislation here and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • "Re-establish the educational mission of Oklahoma’s public universities, guarantee a wide range of freedoms in those universities, and establish a framework for proper university instruction in America’s ideals and institutions." Reduce or eliminate state appropriations to higher education as long as those institutions continue to undermine the strength and unity of American society.

    • Background information here, here, and here Model legislation here. Contact Brandon Dutcher or Jonathan Small.

  • Prohibit public colleges and universities from accepting funds from any individual or entity that is or has been associated with the Chinese government or the Chinese Communist Party.

    • Background information here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Demand budget transparency by requiring Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities to publish online the budget that each department and administrative office requests and receives.

    • Background information here and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Prohibit the use of political litmus tests in Oklahoma’s system of higher education.

    • Background information here and here. Model legislation here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Uphold students’ First Amendment rights by ensuring that no public college or university in Oklahoma utilizes a “bias reporting system.”

    • Background information here. Model legislation here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Reform the open-records law to close loopholes that allow universities "to delay, obfuscate, and outright deny information that is rightfully owed to Oklahoma taxpayers."

    • Background information here. Contact Ryan Haynie.

Regulation

  • Consolidate agencies, boards, and commissions and place the larger agencies under effective gubernatorial control. Alternatively, move to sunset these entities so that they will be terminated by a certain date unless reauthorized by the Legislature.

    • Background information here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Enact a "regulatory sandbox" law that permits new, innovative businesses to apply to a state agency dedicated to providing regulatory relief for a period of time (with the possibility of extension) sufficient for the new business to gain a foothold in the market.

    • Background information here and here. Contact Ryan Haynie.

Other Reforms

  • Provide high-school graduates with "a workforce training voucher used to participate in education programs designed by employers for jobs in their industry" (similar to this federal legislation).

    • Background information here and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher.

  • Follow the example of eight other states and eliminate college-degree requirements for many state government jobs.

    • Background information here, here, here, and here. Contact Brandon Dutcher or Trent England.

  • Follow the example of several other states and eliminate the requirement for attorneys to attend a law school accredited by the left-leaning American Bar Association.

    • Background information here. Contact Trent England.

  • Ban any accreditation agency from operating within Oklahoma if it advocates racial discrimination in any form.

    • Background information here. Contact Trent England.

  • Clarify in the Oklahoma Constitution that voting is a right of U.S. citizens alone, not subject to alteration by future legislatures.

    • Background information here. Contact Trent England.

  • Amend the Oklahoma Constitution to prohibit Oklahoma from ever giving away its electoral votes via the National Popular Vote interstate compact.

    • Background information here and here. Contact Trent England.

Staff

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