Will Rogers, one of Oklahoma’s most favorite sons, was well known for taking the wind out of self-important politicians. Will once quipped, “This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation.” That quote came to mind as we wrapped up the sixth week of the Oklahoma State Senate.
This week was the deadline for all Senate bills to make it out of the chamber and over to the House for consideration. The Senate sent 273 bills to the House for consideration. There were a lot of good reforms and measures in that number that now will have to make their way through the House. Those bills that didn’t make it out of their respective chamber this week are likely dead for the remainder of the session. That’s why you can imagine the level of political bunk we typically hear at the Capitol was raised to a higher level this week.
The voices of the special interests got a little louder as they worked to get their bills heard by deadline week. Those special interests want you to believe the sky will fall if lawmakers pass the bill they oppose. They also generate phone calls, e-mails, social media posts and Capitol rallies to convince you that I and other senators are terrible folks for not passing the bills they support.
But that’s not even the best of the bunk. There are some groups who desperately lobbied the Senate to pass legislation that was blatantly unconstitutional. Why would we let the court strike down that kind of bill and undo years of progress and reform?
The bottom line is the world won’t come to an end if a bill doesn’t make it out of committee or off the Senate floor. And ultimately there’s always next year to try and convince folks of the value and legitimacy of your idea.
I realized quickly after I was first elected that a big part of my job would be to sort through the misinformation in order to get to the truth. That’s why I wade through stacks of bills and piles of press releases to get to the bottom of each issue. Like President Reagan said, we have to trust but verify.
Regardless of whether we agree on an issue, I hope you appreciate my attempt to sort through the political bunk to make sure the work we’re doing at the Capitol moves Oklahoma and Senate District 38 in the right direction. Thank you again for your trust and support and please contact my office if I may be of assistance to you.
Reach Senator Mike Schulz at the State Capitol, Room 418, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105, or call (405) 521-5612.