"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Plan to fix crumbling Oklahoma Capitol Fails; Income Tax Cut More Important

UPDATE #2 from The Oklahoman:

Budget bill wins Oklahoma House approval
Five Republican members switched their votes and another GOP member who had been absent for the first vote voted for an Oklahoma budget bill during the second vote. The budget bill, which won Senate approval on Tuesday, now heads to the governor.
That didn't take long after the first vote for the budget failed.

UPDATE from The Oklahoman:

Oklahoma House votes down budget bill | NewsOK.com (two hours ago)
House Republican leaders are pondering their next move after a proposed budget bill was voted down. Lawmakers must approve a budget for the upcoming fiscal year before their 5 p.m. Friday deadline to complete business. Failure to get a budget approved by Friday evening would mean lawmakers would have to come back in a special session
Are the taxpayers going to be on the hook if they have to go into special sessions?  Absolutely!  They submit 1200 bills a year but cannot pass a budget.  Maybe if they quit hearing some of the stupid bills that are submitted and instead not hear one bill until a budget is passed, the legislature would get something done.  This year it was all about cutting taxes instead of working on a budget.  Absolutely disgusting!  There should be no pay for extra days when they couldn't pass a budget.  In fact they should have to pay back their daily salary for each day a budget is not passed.  Fund Education first has become a joke in this state.  Oklahoma taxpayers are not getting their money's worth with this legislature who don't always follow its own rules.  


Will someone please explain to me why Oklahoma in a bi-partisan fashion put a dome on the capitol in 2002 when the Capitol it seems was in bad shape in other areas?  When the dome was put on, why didn't the Capitol go through a massive renovation at that time?  The people of Oklahoma would have understood that we need to take care of a 100-year old building and for those that didn't, tough.  History is important and this Capitol Building is part of the great history of Oklahoma.  We are a young state only joining the Union in 1907.

The dedication was great on November 16, 2002, and the dome is beautiful with the Guadian sculpted by State Senator Enoch Kelly now sitting on top of the dome which is perfect for the State of Oklahoma.  It is beautiful inside as well and worth a trip to see the paintings and other items that adorn the interior of the Capitol.

It makes me sad to know that we have elected some short sighted people who have forgotten what is important to a lot of citizens of Oklahoma like me who value history including historical buildings like our Capitol.  When you drive up Lincoln Avenue and you see the oil well and then look at the Capitol Building with the Guardian standing guard and you feel great you have the opportunity to live in Oklahoma.  I wasn't born here but this state is wonderful in so many ways.  

We have a vibrant Bricktown with projects paid for by sales tax dollars which include the Bricktown Canal, a new Library, renovated Fine Arts facility, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, renovated smaller arena for trade shows and the Chesapeake Arena home of the NBA Thunder to name a few projects of MAPS.  Oklahoma City is a forward looking city and great place to visit with all the restaurants and shops along the Bricktown Canal.  

You can take a cruise down the river to see all the bronze statutes that were commissioned as part of our Centennial in 2007.  The history of Oklahoma is shown along the Canal in the bronze statues depicting various scenes from our early history.

Photos of Residence Inn Oklahoma City Downtown / Bricktown, Oklahoma City
From Residence Inn Photos, OKC

Every time I take a cruise down the River, I am reminded how city leaders had the foresight to convert old warehouses into this fantastic area to visit.  My two oldest children were downtown for the opening of the Bricktown Canal on the 4th of July with a lot of others and lack of water as the crowd was much bigger then expected.  Fourth of July is a big production for Bricktown with the awesome fireworks at night to celebrate the birthday of our Country.

The Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark home of our Triple AAA farm Team, Redhawks, affiliated with the Houston Astros has bronze statutes of Mickey Mantle, Warren Spahn, and Johnny Bench, all born in Oklahoma, sitting outside the stadium.   Being a Cincinnati Reds fan, I love this statue of Johnny Bench:

Right outside Bricktown sits the Boat House District (blue building to the right in this picture) where Oklahoma City was able to land the training for the Olympic Team:

The skyline of Oklahoma City is changing with the new Devon Tower.  It is beautiful at night as the sun goes down to look at downtown.

Next week you are going to be hearing the sound of softball at the National Softball Complex as the College Softball World Series with the winners of the Super Regionals going on this weekend descending on Oklahoma City.  University of Oklahoma is hosting Arizona at the OU Marita Hynes Field.  Win 2 out of 3 and they are off to OKC!  Right now the Big 12 Baseball Championship is going on at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.  Next week The Thunder will be back in town playing the San Antonio Spurs for the right to represent the West in the NBA Finals.

With all the great places to see around Oklahoma City including the Capitol, why are our members of the Oklahoma House more interested in giving us a very small income tax reduction while allowing infrastructure to deteriorate more?  Makes zero sense.  Will someone at the Capitol please get some common sense and realize that a small cut in the income tax rate is not the end all be all when we have major projects to be fixed.

Still haven't figure out what issuing a bond to fix the Capitol has to do with the lowering of the income tax rate -- must be missing something.  The bottom line is that you don't lower income tax when you have schools and infrastructure that need fixed now not in a few years.  The word that is coming to mind is irresponsibility.

Our State is a great place to live with a lower tax rate then a lot of states so time to stop the nonsense about a lower tax rate until we fix everything.  Then we, the citizens of Oklahoma, will talk!
Plan to fix crumbling Capitol fails
Fallin has option to call special session 
OKLAHOMA CITY - 24 May 2012
A push to help save the crumbling state Capitol has failed. Lawmakers say they don't want to fund it. 
View the video of the crumbling capitol building at KOCO
Another solution could in the works, but it would be difficult. Lawmakers are supposed to wrap up bills for the session on Friday. So, Wednesday's defeat may have been the last chance until next year. 
Lawmakers in the house voted against a bond proposal to make improvements. They say they understand the problems with the nearly 100-year-old building. Pieces of mortar and limestone have been falling to the ground. However, lawmakers say they don't want to issue bonds while trying to cut the state income tax. 
They could hold a special session to come up with other options, but that would be a decision the governor would have to make.

Read more:  KOCO, OKC

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