President Should Honor Campaign Promises

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

No voter likes to see a politician change position on an issue that helped him get elected. There’s something distasteful about a candidate promising to do one thing, and then proceeding by doing the opposite.

I am certain President Barack Obama disappointed many of the same voters who elected him to office when his administration decided they would not defend challenges of the Defense of Marriage law in court.

It is the job of the U.S. Department of Justice to represent the federal government and any law on the books. The constitutionality of a law is a decision to be made by our judicial branch, not by our president. The executive branch’s only part is to defend the law passed by the U.S. Congress in court. Conservatives often criticize the way many politicians disregard the Constitution and the traditional roles of the various branches of government. Obama’s decision to avoid defending a federal law is a prime example of trying to get around the system instead of working within it.

Governor Mary Fallin, by contrast, is keeping her promises and shrinking the size of government in Oklahoma. Her proposal to modernize the state’s vendor payment system was approved by the House Government Modernization Committee this past week. House Bill 1086 came about after the Office of State Finance indicated the state may be spending up to $13.50 per vendor payment for each payment made using traditional paper conveyances such as payment warrants. Electronic payments cost the state approximately 5 cents per transfer. Currently, approximately 230,000 checks are made with traditional paper payment conveyances. When House Bill 1086 is approved, it will require nearly all vendor payments to be made by electronic payment with an estimated savings of $3.6 million each year.

The legislation also includes the governor’s proposal for a shared state payroll system, which is estimated to save at least $2 million each year. The bill requires the placement of common education spending transactions on the website, and a one-stop shop for many state documents and annual reports to be located in a searchable format for easy purview by the taxpayers at the website

House lawmakers also passed legislation to make state agency rules and fee increases subject to legislative approval. Some agencies have used rules to enact fee increases to balance their budgets. Oklahomans want a smaller government, and agencies shouldn’t resist efforts to downsize through the use of rules. House Bill 1044 passed unaminously.

Legislation I filed at the request of local county clerks to have fair board candidates file with the county election board rather than the clerk’s office was approved on the House floor this past week. My other bills, House Bills 1052, 1060, 1061, and 1835 will be heard on the floor this upcoming week.

Congratulations are due to those basketball teams who made it to the state tournament. I commend the coaches, trainers, managers and players on the Woodward and Watonga men’s teams and the Fairview woman’s team. Now, bring home a trophy!

As always, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at the Capitol at (405) 557-7407.

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