Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bill to prohibit use of welfare cash cards in strip clubs


Strip ClubSen. Rob Standridge has filed legislation that would disallow the use of any welfare cash cards in strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos. Senate Bill 667 states that no electronic benefit transfer card containing state or federal funds from programs including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), may be used in such establishments.
Standridge said his proposal would work to ensure the funds are directed to their appropriate use – to provide support for the needy while they get back on their feet.
“The aim of programs like TANF is to provide basic support for families while the recipient finds a new job,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “If these funds are wasted at strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos, then the programs can’t achieve their purpose. Taxpayers should never subsidize this sort of self-destructive behavior.”
In order for programs like TANF to work, Standridge noted, government must ensure recipients accept welfare under certain conditions. If not, funds that could put food on the table may be wasted in a manner that directly inhibits the recipient from getting a job, such as alcohol and drug abuse, gambling and other destructive behaviors.
“The misuse and mismanagement of welfare funds has a damaging impact on the families that need help the most,” Standridge said. “It contributes to child neglect and the deterioration of the family. As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to prevent this from happening.”

Bill proposed to curtail Agenda 21 in Oklahoma


Senate bill 23 introduced by Senator Patrick Anderson proposes a new law in Oklahoma to deny funding to "agencies related to the UN Agenda 21 policies. The bill reads “ Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter- governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Oklahoma and all political subdivisions thereof shall not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds, contract services or give financial aid to or from any non-governmental or inter-governmental organization as defined in Agenda 21.”

Additionally the bill would make it illegal to adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to "Agenda 21" adopted by the United Nations in 1992.

Thank you Senator Anderson.

States Should Withhold Funds from Federal Government


The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, or prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The Legislature finds that the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically stated in the United States Constitution and no more.

While the Congress of the United States has the power to lay and collect taxes pursuant only to Article 1, Section 8, clause 1 and Article 1, Section 9, clauses 4 and 5, and Article XVI of the Constitution for the United States of America, the federal government, its agencies or agents, or the U.S. Congress does not have the power under the Constitution for the United States of America to withhold from the States the benefits of those taxes by use of federal mandates that are outside the scope of the powers enumerated in the Constitution for the United States of America for the federal government.

Therefore the states should in turn withhold receipts from the federal government for the unconstitutional act of blackmail to force states to adhere to the whims of the federal government. This is a complete slap in the face to our freedoms and sovereignty of the states on which the nation was founded.

In researching if this has been done, I found that a number of states, including Oklahoma have attempted to push such bills through only to se them die in committee. In 2010 House Bill 2810 was introduced that would return the powers to the states.

That same year in Washington, House Bill 2712 introduced that read in part”establishes a federal tax fund, which will be used to deposit federal tax money from state citizens that are meant for the federal government. The act calls for withholding payment to the federal government of the money in this account, if it is found that the federal government is acting unconstitutionally. Funds will then be transferred into the state budget. If the federal government imposes sanctions on the people or government of the state, then the state will act in its best interest to support its sovereignty.”. This bill also died en route to passage.

In addition to having the funds in the state to avoid the federal government from withholding fund due the state, the states should withhold when congress fails to pass a real balanced budget, or takes any unconstitutional act.

Could this ever happen? It is up to we the people to discuss, draw a plan of action and force the states to follow that plan and pass the laws. There would need to be careful consideration to the retribution that would surely arise. Anytime a subject tried to reach for rights there is a fight soon to some.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Parent Empowerment Act


Senator David Holt (R – Oklahoma City) and Senator Jabar Shumate (D – Tulsa) have introduced the “Parent Empowerment Act”, Senate Bill 1001, which will give Oklahoma parents the power to force a dramatic change in their students’ underperforming schools.
The Parent Empowerment Act would create a process where if a majority of parents in an underperforming school sign a petition, they may transition the school to a charter school, or they may ask for the administrators of the school to be terminated. An underperforming school is defined as a school that has received a ‘D’ or an ‘F’ for at least the last two years under Oklahoma’s new grading system, or a ‘D’ or an ‘F’ for two of the last three years, as long as the most recent grade was a ‘D’ or an ‘F’. If the parents choose the charter school option, the charter school will first serve all students in the previous attendance boundaries of the school.

Sen. Holt explained that charter schools provide more flexibility, and the goal of chartering an underperforming school under the Parent Empowerment Act would be to provide the flexibility needed to improve student performance at the school in a manner led jointly by motivated parents and school district leaders. The process of creating a charter school outlined in the Parent Empowerment Act is designed to create a collaborative relationship between the parents and the school district, rather than an adversarial one.
“I think everyone involved in education wants the best for our kids, but sometimes schools underperform, and sometimes we all get stuck in a pattern we can’t seem to break,” said Holt. “The Parent Empowerment Act creates a path where parents can work hand-in-hand with school district leaders to break that pattern and set a new tone for their school. I believe this concept has the potential to dramatically improve the education being delivered to students in some of our most challenged schools.”
“I have consistently been inspired by the parents in my district who have fought for a better education for their kids,” said Shumate. “Oftentimes, this has led them to stand up for more choices and more tools, and I have stood with them. The Parent Empowerment Act gives the parents in my district a new tool, and that’s a good thing for our kids. I don’t think that the education of the kids in my district is a partisan issue.”
The power given to parents in the Parent Empowerment Act is often referred to as a “parent trigger” and versions of it have been enacted in several other states, most notably California, where the first "parent trigger" school is now beginning its transition to a charter school. Senator Holt had previously announced in September his desire to give Oklahoma parents this power through 2013 legislation. Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi has endorsed a “parent trigger” law for Oklahoma, and noted education reformer Michelle Rhee’s education think tank recently did the same. SB 1001 will be considered in the 2013 legislative session that begins February 4th.

Senator Holt Introduces Legislation to Make "Black Friday" Sales Legal in Oklahoma


Senator David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, has introduced legislation to make "Black Friday" sales and other low-price retail sales legal in Oklahoma. Under current law, which was originally enacted in 1941, retailers must sell products for at least six percent more than they paid for it. A December 2011 opinion from the Oklahoma Attorney General confirmed that state law bars all “Black Friday” and other low-price sales, even if they are only temporary. As a result, many retailers, including the largest retailer in the state, are shutting down their "Black Friday" and other low-price sales until Oklahoma's laws are modernized. Senate Bill 550 would change that for all products, except for fuel and prescription drugs.

"Oklahomans are well aware of the 'Black Friday' phenomenon that most Americans enjoy, and I think our consumers should be allowed to be a part of it," Holt said. "If a retailer wants to sell a 70-inch television for $50 on 'Black Friday', that's good for consumers, it's good for our economy, and it reflects a free market decision that retailers should be allowed to make."

Holt said the outdated law puts Oklahomans at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states where retailers can legally offer significant bargains for "Back-to-School" and holiday sales, including "Black Friday", the biggest shopping day of the year. By forcing Oklahomans to leave the state to shop, retailers, consumers, and core government services are all negatively impacted.

The existing law impacts deals on everything from Thanksgiving turkeys to televisions to clothing, and all products in-between. The existing law doesn’t just apply to low-cost prices that may occur during special sales, but all low prices that a retailer may charge any day of the year. It is believed that only two states have a law that bars these low prices – Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

The current law also puts Oklahoma retailers who don’t comply at great risk. Companies doing business in Oklahoma have been sued under the law for giving consumers a bargain on products. Retailers are also subject to arrest for giving consumers a bargain.

"Why should Oklahomans have to drive to Texas to enjoy lower prices at stores that we have in Oklahoma?" said Holt. "The profile of this existing law is rising just as 'Black Friday', 'Back-to-School', and other sales are taking on more prominence. No retailer wants to get arrested or sued for charging a low price. I have serious concerns that Oklahomans will never again enjoy any 'Black Friday' or other low-cost sales until this antiquated law is modernized."
Holt said his bill protects the fuel industry and prescription drugs from changes to the existing law, and would continue to safeguard consumers from predatory pricing that can lead to unfair competition. SB 550 will be considered in the 2013 legislative session that begins February 4th.

Predatory pricing is when retailers sell at prices below cost to drive competitors out of business or keep new competitors from starting in the business.

Dahm legislation to safeguard Second Amendment rights


Sen. Nathan Dahm has filed three proposals to protect the Second Amendment rights of Oklahomans to keep and bear arms. Dahm said the Constitution provides clear protections to gun owners, but if lawmakers are not diligent, those protections can easily come under attack by proponents of big government.
“Oklahomans understand that the right to keep and bear arms is intrinsic to our cultural identity,” said Dahm, R-Broken Arrow. “Our nation’s founders intended the Second Amendment to protect the right of individuals to own guns, and it is critical for lawmakers to be diligent in our protection of that right. This legislation furthers our efforts to protect Oklahomans from federal overreach.”
Dahm has filed Senate Bill 548, the Second Amendment Preservation Act, legislation that will protect the right of Oklahomans to keep and bear arms by opposing all unconstitutional laws, orders, or regulations imposed by the federal government that violate the individual right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed in the Second Amendment.
Also filed by Dahm, Senate Bill 401 states that licensed gun owners who have not been convicted of a felony will not be charged with a felony for possessing a weapon in a Gun-Free School Zone. The measure will close a loophole created by federal law, and protect law-abiding Oklahomans from wrongfully being charged with a felony.
Senate Bill 552 will allow any Oklahoman 21 years of age or older, and who is not a convicted felon, to keep a pistol in their vehicle for the purpose of self-defense.
“When we were sworn in, we took an oath to support and uphold the Constitution, and I intend to do just that,” Dahm said. “A broad majority of Oklahomans oppose gun restrictions, and expect their elected officials to defend their Second Amendment rights. With federal authorities currently considering gun restrictions, we must be diligent.”

OK Resolution to Prohibit Agenda 21 Funding


The United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. Since the United Nations Agenda 21 treaty in that it has never been ratified by the U.S. Senate neither the U.S. government nor any state or local government is legally bound by the treaty.

The United Nations Agenda 21 is being covertly pushed into local communities throughout the United States of America through the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), now calling itself "Local Governments for Sustainability," through local "sustainable development" policies, such as SmartGrowth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, and other "Green" or "Alternative" projects and this plan of radical so-called "sustainable development". The treaty views the American way of life of private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms all as destructive to the environment.

According to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people to benefit equally from the resources afforded by society and the environment which would be accomplished by a socialist/communist-style redistribution of wealth; and WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy,national sovereignty is deemed a social injustice.

Senate Joint Resolution 2 declares the State of Oklahoma and all political subdivisions are prohibited from implementing programs of, expending any sum of money for, being a member of, receiving funding from, contracting services from, or giving financial or other forms of aid to Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), or any other organization promoting the implementation of the United Nations Agenda 21, sustainable
development, or smart growth.

The members of the Oklahoma Legislature recognize the destructive and insidious nature of the United Nations Agenda 21, endorse rejection of its radical policies and of any grant monies attached to it, and recommend exposing to the public and public policymakers across the country the dangerous intent of the plan.