Columns/Opinions

Thu
19
Oct
Edgar's picture

A Responsible, Balanced Budget

by Congressman Tom Cole 

Our federal budget is a critical part of keeping our government functioning. It sets the boundaries and framework for how much money the federal government should spend on various federal programs and agencies. It is a fundamental measurement to help control spending and balance federal expenditures. However, for the past few years, the national debt has risen at an alarming rate. Just like a credit card can garner debt, so can the government.

Federal spending is defined by three different categories – mandatory, discretionary and interest on the debt. Mandatory spending addresses entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Discretionary spending addresses the larger aspects of funding that include several federal agencies and defense spending. The remaining portion is on the interest we pay on our national debt.

Thu
19
Oct
Edgar's picture

Chisholm Trail Festival Celebrates 150th Anniversary of Famed Cattle Trail in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Communities Gather to Provide Mini-Trail of Family Fun 

 

YUKON, OKLAHOMA – The pounding of hooves, crack of leather, clatter of a chuck wagon and shouts of enthusiastic mounted riders will fill the Chisholm Trail in Oklahoma as Oklahoma celebrates the 150th anniversary of the famed trail.

The Chisholm Trail Festival will be held on October 21, 2017 on the land where the last golden trail marker was erected near Yukon. The festival will mark the milestone by bringing more than 20 Oklahoma towns and dozens western-themed organizations together for the event that will include hands-on learning experiences, photo opportunities, live music, entertainment and games.

 

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Wed
11
Oct
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For the Children:OICA Builds on 35 Years of Advocacy

by OICA CEO Joe Dorman 

In 2018, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) will celebrate its 35th Anniversary. Our mission, “Creating awareness, taking action and supporting policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children” is a role we take very seriously each and every day. We consider our advocacy to be a 24/7, all-year job: our work at the Capitol continues before, during and after the legislative session.

Wed
11
Oct
Edgar's picture

Driverless air taxi at your service?

The next time your taxi gets stuck in traffic, take heart-it appears that the first ever flying taxi will begin ferrying passengers to their destinations in July, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens.

 

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Wed
30
Aug
Edgar's picture

Fixing the Root of the Problem

Some in our state are suggesting we increase taxes by a billion dollars – that’s a literal figure, not hypothetical – to fix a $215 million budget hole.

That’s a ridiculous proposal that will not see the light of day. Why would we put such a large burden on the backs of the Oklahoma taxpayers before we’ve fixed the root of the problem – agency spending priorities and duplication of services?

 

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Wed
23
Aug
Edgar's picture

For the Children: State Government is Failing to Help the Needy

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

 

If you have driven the H.E. Bailey Turnpike south from Oklahoma City, you have most likely seen a billboard that reads, “Government takes from the Needy and gives to the Greedy,” a statement that is famously attributed to President Ronald Reagan. The quote is from a speech that Reagan gave before Congress, where he basically discusses how government programs often do not actually serve those truly in need. He believed far too many people abuse the system, benefiting from services they do not need or should be providing for themselves.

 

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Wed
16
Aug
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North Korea’s Threats

By Congressman Tom Cole

For decades, the United States has grappled with the unpredictable and dangerous regime of the Kim family, from Kim Jong-il to Kim Jongun. The world has witnessed human rights violations, economic hardships and the volatility of the Kim government. Moreover, for years, the United States and its allies have attempted to keep the North Korean government from procuring a nuclear weapon and the means with which to deliver it. However, in recent weeks it has become evident that Kim Jong-un has most likely succeeded in his efforts and probably has the capability of striking the United States with a nuclear weapon.

Wed
16
Aug
Edgar's picture

For the Children: A “Heroic” Turnout for Oklahoma Children

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

I am happy to report the Heroes Ball, the first gala held by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) in almost a decade, was a huge success. The 400 attendees -- many wearing super-hero themed outfits -- were treated to a wonderful presentation by Dr. Deena Fisher regarding the history of Kate Barnard, the first Commissioner of Charities and Corrections for the state of Oklahoma who was elected in 1907. We also heard remarks from Steven Novick, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the Terry D. Lawsuit, the court case which created OICA, along with comments from Laura Choate, one of our board members and an original plaintiff in that case.

Wed
09
Aug
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Walmart Opens Application Period for Nonprofit Grants

Applications begin August 7 for grants from $25,000 to $200,000; deadline August 11

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 4, 2017) — As part of Walmart’s commitment to give back in the communities where its associates live, work and serve customers, the retailer is announcing an opportunity for local nonprofit organizations to apply for Walmart Foundation State Giving grants between $25,000 and $200,000. The Foundation will begin accepting grant applications on Monday, August 7, 2017. The deadline to submit grant requests is Friday, August 11, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. Central time.

The Walmart Foundation supports community engagement programs focusing on the unmet needs of underserved low-income populations. Examples include:

· Career opportunity

· Disaster preparedness

 

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Wed
19
Jul
Edgar's picture

Agencies Need Better Legislative Oversight

Here’s how politics works. People elect lawmakers to go to the state Capitol to represent their interests. People pay taxes to support government services. Lawmakers decide how much money goes to each service – education, transportation, healthcare, human services, public safety, etc. This gets to be a pretty long list.

While lawmakers give agency heads much discretion over how this funding is spent, not choosing to line-item appropriations, this sometimes gives agency directors too much room to make decisions that may not be in the best interest of the public. With limited legislative oversight, some agency heads show very little respect for lawmakers or the constituents they represent.

 

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