I’m so glad that fall is starting! I mean, I know it’s like 90 today, but there’s a different mood around the place. Pumpkin and leaf decorations are out, there’s candy corn in the candy dishes, and we’re in the full throes of football season. Now that it’s October, I thought I should start providing some helpful information about the upcoming election. It is only 22 days away! We’ll talk about the Putnam City Caucus in another post, but for today, I’ll focus on the five state questions, only one of which directly deals with education policy.
This one would allow optometrists and opticians to operate in retail stores like Walmart and Target. According to YES on 793’s website, Oklahoma is one of only 3 states that does NOT allow this to happen. They claim it will lower costs of glasses and be better for the local economy. Those against it say that the whole YES campaign is based on greed, and mention that since optometry is a medical specialty, it’s inappropriate for it to be at a retail store. Here’s a video that quickly summarizes the issue so you can make an informed decision.
The so-called “Marsy’s Law” aims to expand the constitutional rights of crime victims, allowing them to be better informed on the judicial proceedings in their case, and give them more voice in those proceedings. The man who has worked to bring this law to fruition in several states is the brother of crime victim Marsy. Some who work in the criminal justice system point out the heavy financial burden as the reason why they cannot fully implement the law. A version of the law has also been ruled unconstitutional in Montana, according to OK Policy’s report. Here’s the video produced by Oklahoma Watch with support from the League of Women Voters.
798 seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me, but it would require the governor and the lieutenant governor to be elected on a joint ticket, rather than run independent of each other. Here’s the fact sheet.
Making a savings account to mitigate the boom-bust reality of oil and gas and therefore the revenue our state relies on heavily seems to be the goal of SQ 800. Voting YES would establish a fund that saves 5% of the revenue each year and transfers 4% out for general fund needs. If you have access to the Journal Record online, you could read more about the law here.
This is the one that has to do with education. It would allow school districts to use a portion of their building funds for school operations, which is currently prohibited. Dale Denwalt wrote a helpful piece on it here. My understanding is that many in the Education Coalition are against this because of its potential to leave schools crumbling if not managed prudently.
Good luck making your decisions! Don’t forget to vote Nov. 6, or the weekend prior at the County Election Board. Or even consider an absentee ballot - it’s not too late! Sign up online!