Bills all the focus for state legislators

By JORDAN EVANS
Columnist

Oklahoma’s Legislative session began on Monday.

This year, the house and senate will face the challenges of a $900 million deficit and its effects on education, corrections and the all-around public sector.

While there are major issues that need to be confronted, we still have legislators who instead focus on minor and unneeded bills.

Senator Ralph Shorty from Oklahoma City hopes to pass a bill that prohibits “motorcycle profiling.” This would forbid the discrimination of people wearing motorcycle-related clothing or accessories from unfairly being arrested or searched without legal basis.

Apparently there is a war between motorcycle enthusiasts and the Oklahoma Police Force that I am unaware of.

Another unneeded bill is to be presented by Representative Kevin Calvey of OKC. Calvey is pushing that the Rosetta Nebula be our state’s official astronomical object.

Perhaps the most disappointing is from Representative Sally Kern, who is from the Bethany area. Kern has proposed half a dozen “anti-gay bills” that target the LGBT community.

These bills include the ability to refuse service to an LGBT, prohibiting state employees from licensing same-sex marriages and forbidding a struggling student from seeing a pro-gay therapist.

These bills are hate-filled and completely against what Oklahoma should stand for. These bills show the inability of some lawmakers to focus on issues that matter to our state.

While there are a number of pointless bills, there are many more that look to improve the economic and social well-being of Oklahoma.

An example is Senator David Holt of OKC. Holt is proposing a $10,000 pay raise for teachers by implementing a series of bills that will restructure the state education system. More legislators must follow Holt’s lead and strive to fix these problems at their foundation.

If our representatives can begin focusing on major issues, rather than the irrelevant fluff some of them call bills, we may begin to see some real progress in our state.