Columns/Opinions

Wed
13
Dec
Edgar's picture

Working to Get More Tax Dollars to Teachers

By Governor Mary Fallin

Teacher salaries need to be increased in the state of Oklahoma. This is a simple fact, especially as we compare our teacher compensation to surrounding states. It’s also obvious when school districts from other states come to our state to hold recruiting drives, such as the Dallas Independent School District’s three-day job fair in Oklahoma City the first week of this month.

For the past two years I have called for a teacher pay increase in my State of the State addresses, but there has not been a solution to this challenge. We must address this issue if we expect to continue to be a prosperous state.

 

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Wed
06
Dec
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Enforcing and Reforming Our Immigration System

By: Congressman Tom Cole

In America, we are fortunate to be a land of opportunity and to be one that is shaped by immigrants from all over the world. Likewise, law and justice also shapes our nation. Many immigrants have entered the United States legally and have thrived. In recent years though, our nation has been home to millions of illegal immigrants, and the laws that are supposed to protect our borders have failed to do so.

Wed
06
Dec
Edgar's picture

For the Children: A Children’s Agenda for the New Year

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

For those who are involved in politics and policy at the Oklahoma State Capitol, 2017 feels like the year that will never end. Special legislative sessions, elusive budget deals, and an early start to political campaigning have given this year an endless “Ground Hog Day” vibe that makes it seem like 2018 exists only in the distant future.

Nevertheless, the New Year is practically here, and it may surprise the public to learn that the bill-filing deadline for the 2018 legislative session is this Friday, December 8. Bills filed before Friday do not necessarily need to be in their detailed, final form; most are “shell bills” that simply identify a topic. In that spirit, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy has identified five priority areas we hope our lawmakers make the focal point of their legislation.

 

Wed
29
Nov
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North Korea Belongs on the List

By: Congressman Tom Cole

In late 1987, a Korean Air flight traveling from Seoul, South Korea to Baghdad, Iraq, was bombed by North Korean agents killing all 115 people on board. This event, evidence of clear terrorist motives, prompted the Reagan Administration to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Today, the United States still grapples with the often unpredictable and volatile nature of North Korea and the regime of its dictator, Kim Jong-un. And earlier this week, President Trump made the decision to re-list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, and promoted a new wave of tougher sanctions on the hermit state.

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Wed
29
Nov
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A Working Tax System

By: Congressman Tom Cole

When President Ronald Reagan implemented a sweeping reform of our nation’s tax system in 1986, it helped millions of Americans from different walks of life save money and kicked off an era of strong economic growth. A little more than three decades later, our tax code has become severely outdated. For the last several weeks, the House has been working through the legislative process to craft a bill aimed at fixing the current tax code and creating one that will support the individual, families and American businesses – something that is long overdue. Last week, the House was able to accomplish the first step in major tax reform through the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), which will give Americans the opportunity to keep more of their hard-earned pay.

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Tue
21
Nov
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Hidden Figures Author Shetterly Says History ‘Cultivates Not Just Young Readers, But Also The Next Generation Of Engaged Citizens.’

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov 14 - Award-winning Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly didn’t start out as a history buff. But her book, a number one New York Times bestseller, revealed an innate passion for history and a knack for telling compelling stories about the events that have shaped our country-- and our lives.

Her most recent accolade was the 2017 Grateful American Book Prize for her true tale about the early days of NASA. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Agency hired African American mathematicians to be human “computers” at its facility in Hampton, VA. But they were given menial positions as pencil pushers, a fate they overcame at a time when the inequities of racism was rampant. Hidden Figures shows that the women whose stories Shetterly reveals, proved they were as capable, and maybe even more so--than the next man--for the task of catapulting the first astronauts into outer space.

 

Tue
21
Nov
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Cole Statement on the Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by a vote of 227-205, with Cole’s support.

“After 31 years of a broken, complicated tax code, the American taxpayers and businesses will finally see much-needed relief,” said Cole. “This is a new system that will incentivize the individual and promote economic growth. I was proud to put my support behind this bill.”

 

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Wed
15
Nov
Edgar's picture

Gratitude for Oklahoma Warriors, Veterans Felt 7,500 Miles Away

With the observance of Veterans Day approaching, I’m confident Oklahomans will again demonstrate their patriotic spirit by taking time to honor those who have served to protect our freedoms. Witnessing the deeply held Oklahoma value for veterans by our friends and neighbors is always inspiring to me. It’s important for us to know that the gratitude for sacrifices by Oklahoma veterans also is felt 7,500 miles away.

Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city, and our state’s capital city are separated by those 7,500 miles. But recognition of the contributions made by our soldiers who have served there and are currently serving there transcends the distance. A trip to Kabul in December to see our soldiers exposed me first-hand to the special respect their people have for Oklahomans. Afghanistan’s leaders are appreciative of all the multi-nation troops helping their country. But their hearts swell with gratitude when talking about Oklahoma veterans.

 

Wed
08
Nov
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Murder is Not Caused by Guns or Trucks, But by Our Thinking

By Marianne Clyde

The symptoms of dis-ease will never disappear until we are brave enough, patient enough, and diligent enough to address the core issues that create the dis-ease. There is no question that our world is experiencing dis-ease. Various dictionaries describe dis-ease as “a harmful development,” “a particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people,” or “lack of ease.”

If we don’t address the reason for the “harmful development” or “lack of ease,” we will never adequately solve the problem. As with any dis-ease, of course, the symptoms need to be addressed. Perhaps we do need some reasonable measures to address gun control, terrorism, the opioid crisis, but as the reverend, Dr. Wesley Shortridge, pastor at Liberty church in Bealeton, VA, said recently in an interview, “We have never been able to stop addiction by outlawing drugs.” The same goes for guns, trucks, immigrants and anything else.

 

Wed
25
Oct
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Breeding wheat varieties for protein? Not so fast

By Leilana McKindra

STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State University wheat breeder Brett Carver does not resemble the stereotypical image of a mad scientist at work.

However, he and the rest of the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, an interdisciplinary team of researchers, display mad skills when it comes to fulfilling their charge of developing high-performing wheat varieties that thrive in Oklahoma, while more than satisfying the needs of bakers and millers everywhere.

Turns out, variety selection does play a role in the protein content of wheat.

With low levels of protein marking Oklahoma’s wheat crop for the past two years, it is natural to wonder how much attention the Wheat Improvement Team pays to protein content in the development of new varieties. Well, a lot, actually, though to some degree it is out of the team’s capable hands.

 

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