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Even the cranky old Oklahoman hates our state legislature…

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If I had to pick one word to describe the Oklahoma legislature, it would be "dumb." If I had to pick two words, it would be "very dumb." If I had to pick a movie quote, it would be "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."

Apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way. Check out this somewhat bitter editorial from Sunday's Oklahoman:

'Do nothing' Congress has nothing on Oklahoma Legislature

Once again, a majority of members in the state House of Representatives have decided against using a bond issue to pay for repair of the Capitol building. They prefer to do nothing, and instead let voters decide what should be done.

During this election year, a do-nothing mindset on some issues has been evident at the Legislature throughout the session. Congress has been tagged with the “do nothing” label, but that outfit has nothing on our lawmakers.

There is no debate about whether the 97-year-old Capitol building needs to be repaired. Yellow barricades keep visitors away from some parts of building where pieces of limestone and mortar have chipped away from the south facade. Inside, the building has longstanding plumbing and electrical concerns.

Conservatives in the House oppose using a bond issue to pay for repairs, because they don’t want to burden the state with further indebtedness. All debt is bad debt in their view; thus, they reject any and all arguments as to why using a bond issue in this case makes sound financial sense.

Some members say they prefer a pay-as-you-go approach, which would only add to the total cost of the project. Others would rather dip into the state’s Rainy Day Fund to get the $160 million or so that’s needed. That fund is for emergencies — this “emergency” has been before lawmakers for the past several years.

Ultimately, the argument that the Capitol is “the people’s building” won out last week. The House rejected approving a bond issue, and instead urged the Senate to pass a House plan to send the idea to voters. “Let’s go to the people and ask what they want to do,” said Rep. Steve Vaughan, R-Ponca City. What the people want is for lawmakers to do their jobs.

Okay, so the Oklahoman didn't go so far as to call the Legislature a wretched hive of scum and villainy, but it's still kind of weird to see them criticize our lawmakers. If the Oklahoma legislature is the Mos Eisley Space Port, than the Oklahoma Editorial Board is essentially the Cantina Band. They're usually right there playing songs that the bandits, bounty hunters and smugglers like to hear.

Here's the rest of the editorial:

With a month remaining in this session, Oklahomans have seen their elected officials do little to reform the state’s pension system, an issue deemed vital by the governor and other leaders when the session began. A ban on text-messaging at the wheel, something 41 other states have adopted because policymakers realize such bans can help save lives, remains a nonstarter. Corrections reform, as usual, has gone nowhere.

Then again, maybe we’re being a little harsh. Lawmakers have worked to roll back education reform legislation approved just a few years ago by conservatives. They’re considering an income tax cut that’ll take effect in future years, provided the economy allows for it. They backed a bill that will burden some students who use the Oklahoma’s Promise program to try to get a college education.

They’ve voted for a “Parents Bill of Rights,” reaffirming that parents have a fundamental right to rear their kids as they see fit. They favored a bill that would ban habitual sex offenders from congregating in state parks (good luck enforcing that!). They added the American Legion to the (ever-growing) list of organizations that get a sales tax exemption. They voted to recognize April 2 of this year as “Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Day.” In the House, they voted for a bill to allow teachers to say “Merry Christmas” without having to worry about being sued. The list goes on.

Taxpayers fork over a minimum of $38,400 per year per legislator, plus per diem and mileage. They deserve better.

So, The Oklahoman basically thinks our legislature is filled with of a bunch of pandering idiots who do nothing but pass meaningless laws and fail to address or fix any real issues. It's about time I agree with the State's Most Trusted News on something!

That being said, I don't mind that our legislature is a wasteful joke. In fact, I kind of like it. What would you rather have them do? Address pointless issues and pass unconstitutional laws, or craft backwards thinking legislation in an attempt to fix real problems? Seriously, give them all the busy work they can handle. I wouldn't trust those Derps to fix a flat tire or restore the Millenium Falcon's hyperdrive.

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