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The 2014 State questions

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Every two years, prior to the November elections, I write an article describing the state questions which will be on the upcoming general election ballot. As a legislator I have the benefit of having already considered these questions during the preceding two years because most state questions are approved by the Legislature prior to placement on the ballot.

State Represenstative Jason Murphey

State Represenstative Jason Murphey

I think this is the easiest year to write about these questions because there are only three on the ballot, and they are not controversial.

I supported each of these proposals.

State Question 769 won legislative approval in 2013 after an Oklahoma district attorney and member of the Oklahoma National Guard became involved in a legal question over whether or not the Oklahoma Constitution allowed him to serve as an active member of the military while holding office. SQ 769 seeks to remove any doubt as to the ability of office holders such as a district attorney to serve in the Guard.

Oklahoma’s Constitution currently allows disabled veterans to receive an exemption from most property taxes. State Question 770 allows disabled veterans to sell their home and transfer the exemption to their new home during the same calendar year with no drop off in the exemption.

State Question 771 provides this same exemption from property taxes to the surviving spouse of a military member who is killed in the line of duty. The exemption will no longer apply if the surviving spouse remarries.

You may be curious to know why there are so few questions on this year’s ballot.

This is actually a testament to the fact that the Legislature and Governor have worked out many of the issues of consequence.

For example, in 2010, the Legislature sought to bypass the previous Governor by sending questions directly to the voters. As a result, Oklahoma voters were challenged to choose between 11 questions covering several controversial issues. These issues included the proposal to place term limits on statewide elected officials; created Oklahoma’s voter ID law; declared English as Oklahoma’s official language; sought to prohibit Oklahoma’s participation in the national health care proposal (an initiative which has since been part of Oklahoma’s lawsuit against the federal government); and the attempt to prevent the use of Sharia law in Oklahoma.

Since that time, with the election of a new Governor, the tension between the Governor’s office and the Legislature has dropped considerably, and the Legislature is not bypassing the Governor’s office this year through the issuance of special questions.

However, there are still tense moments between the various branches of government. In the near future I plan to detail some of them.

In the meantime, if you have specific questions about the 2014 state questions, please do not hesitate to email me at Jason.Murphey@hd31.org.

Thank you for reading this article. Your interest and input are much appreciated. Please do not hesitate to email Jason.Murphey@hd31.org with your thoughts and suggestions.

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Categories: Column, Politics
  1. Shirley Ford
    October 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Here Jason Murphy discusses the state questions on the ballot.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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