To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, October 18, 2021

Observercast

Erosion Of Our Freedoms

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BY BRIAN RENEGAR

Renegar, BrianOklahomans are losing their freedoms, one local-control issue at a time. And why? To satisfy certain lobbies like the tobacco and the oil and gas industries.

Last year, Gov. Fallin signed into law a bill that says municipalities cannot enact anti-smoking laws that are more stringent than the state’s. She also vetoed Rep. Katie Henke’s HB 2155, which would have created a parent-teacher-student team to decide whether a failure on a third-grade reading sufficiency test was due to extrinsic factors.

Also last year a law was created to keep counties and municipalities from raising the minimum wage. The proposed defunding of our advanced-placement U.S. history classes is taking local control away from local school boards.

So is HB 1440 by Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid, which would impose term limits on school boards. This contradicts Rep. Caldwell’s other measure, HB 1442, which says that if a school district can’t find someone to run in their district, they can go outside the district to get someone to serve! Talk about a lack of common sense.

Even the Speaker of House, Jeff Hickman, is getting into the act with HB 2178, which would disallow municipalities from adopting ordinances to ban fracking in their city.

Brian Renegar, a McAlester Democrat, represents District 17 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives

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Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.