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Constitutional Freedom
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Free Market Friday: Justice reform second chance

July 21, 2017 - 8:57am CDT

When Oklahoma voters approved State Questions 780 and 781 in 2016, they made themselves perfectly clear: Criminal justice reform is a top priority for Oklahoma. The success of these questions shows a desire among Oklahomans to break the devastating cycle of recidivism and incarceration by reducing ... READ MORE

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Rainy Day Fund Raid Vindicated? Not So Fast

July 19, 2017 - 10:14am CDT

After draining all $240 million out of Oklahoma’s Constitutional Reserve Fund, Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger decided to ask the state Attorney General whether doing so was legal. Recently, the Oklahoma Attorney General issued an opinion that, with minor caveats, claims to legitimize Doerf... READ MORE

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A Tribute to State Question 640

July 13, 2017 - 3:44pm CDT

By Jonathan Small As lawmakers navigated through the final days of the 2017 legislative session, with debates over budget gaps and proposed tax increases, some who love the idea of soaking the taxpayers for all they can get bemoaned the existence of one of the most important constitutional safeguar... READ MORE

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An Update on Criminal Justice Reform in Oklahoma

July 5, 2017 - 1:17pm CDT

In 2016, Oklahoma voters approved State Questions 780 and 781. The success of these measures showed a desire among Oklahomans to break the devastating cycle of recidivism and generational incarceration by reducing sentences for nonviolent (particularly drug-related) crimes and placing increased emph... READ MORE

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Playground Fight Ends at Supreme Court

June 27, 2017 - 12:22pm CDT

Smoke billowed from the doors as the firefighters jogged into the church, then again as they came back out into the snow. “It’s the big table at the front. They had a thing plugged in up there; looks like the cord shorted out.” “Like a bunch of little people?” the Captian asked. “Yeah. And animals... READ MORE

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Free Market Friday: A tribute to SQ 640

May 26, 2017 - 8:40am CDT

As the 2017 legislative session navigated through its final days with debates over budget gaps and proposed tax increases, some who love the idea of soaking the taxpayers for all they can get bemoaned the existence of one of the most important constitutional safeguards in state history – State Quest... READ MORE

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Free Market Friday: Questionable borrowing

April 14, 2017 - 8:38am CDT

Not only is Oklahoma facing the reality of less state revenue, the governor and her staff have drained the entire balance from the Rainy Day Fund – which appears to be in violation of Oklahoma’s Constitution. To best understand this, it helps to remember a rule from basic civics: The constitution a... READ MORE

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Was It Legal to Drain Oklahoma’s Rainy Day Fund?

April 3, 2017 - 5:11pm CDT

Gov. Mary Fallin’s administration has drained Oklahoma’s Constitutional Reserve Fund, often called the Rainy Day Fund. Executive branch officials spent all $240 million from the Fund to pay the state’s monthly bills rather than declare a larger or additional revenue shortfall. Whether or not this wa... READ MORE

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Next Steps for Criminal Justice Reform

January 1, 2017 - 3:12pm CST

By Trent England In 2016, Oklahoma legislators and voters supported some key criminal justice reforms. More work remains, however, to break the cycle of criminality and incarceration. The legislature should take action in 2017 to improve opportunities for offenders and their families. At the same t... READ MORE

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Shift Power from the Elites to the People: Reform the Judicial Nominating Commission

January 1, 2017 - 3:07pm CST

By Trent England No federal judges were on the ballot in 2016. Of course, federal judges are never on the ballot, and yet they are routinely an important subject in campaigns for President and U.S. Senate. On the other hand, Oklahoma Supreme Court justices and other state judges were on the ballot... READ MORE

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