Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Legislature: Part-Time in Oklahoma

I'll confess that I haven't looked up the statistics on it, but right off hand, I don't know of another state that tries to get all its legislative business done in a half-year session.

Oklahoma's legislature gathers just six months out of the year. This means that all the necessary budget and financial issues must be taken care of and whatever time is leftover is allotted to new proposals. This seems inefficient to me and means some legislation never gets to the table.

Politicians' pet projects and causes come first after the necessary stuff. Despite what the polls show are the top concerns of the Oklahoma citizenry, legislators have found it important to deal with other issues, such as immigration. The output of new bills/laws would leave the rest of the nation believing that all of Oklahoma has its collective panties in a bunch over immigration or Shariah law, but that is not the case.

Perhaps in earlier times a part-time legislature was able to address all of the state's concerns, but in these times, I don't believe that is so.


  1. For what politicians make and all of the perks that their positions provide, they should absolutely work full time.

  2. Is that worse than our U.S. House of Representatives working 3 days a week every other week except weeks with holidays? Maybe working more than half a year interferes with raising money.

  3. @Word Nerd: I'd take just the perks and be happy to work year 'round.

    @Wayne: I guess it essentially works out to be about the same amount of time spent working. I was thinking that back in the day when Oklahoma's legislature was formed, many of the elected officials were farmers or ranchers who had work to tend to at home, but these days only folks in suits seem to want/get the job.