Because voters in the upcoming general election will be facing a lengthy ballot that includes 11 state questions, those who learn about the issues before entering the polls on Nov. 2 will be better informed than most of their peers.


Because voters in the upcoming general election will be facing a lengthy ballot that includes 11 state questions, those who learn about the issues before entering the polls on Nov. 2 will be better informed than most of their peers.

 

Former state election board secretary Lee Slater said voters who wait until they are in the voting booth to try to read the 11 state questions will not have time to understand each one.

 

State Question 756
State Question 756 was approved by the Legislature in response to the passage of the new federal health care legislation. This question would prohibit making any person, employer or health care provider participate in a health care system.

 

It is simply a way for Oklahomans to make a political statement that they oppose the health care reform law, including the requirement that everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty.

 

“Supporters of the resolution said it gives Oklahomans a way to send a message to Washington after Congress enacted the new health care law in spite of polls showing strong opposition,” Patrick B. McGuigan wrote on capitolbeatok.com.

 

Polls continue to show strong opposition to the new federal health care law, with some surveys finding that opposition exceeds 50 percent of voters.

 

“Opponents noted that federal law supersedes state law when the two overlap and contradict, effectively making the proposed constitutional amendment a symbolic gesture that would not free Oklahomans of any unpopular federal mandate.”

 

“This was Republican legislators’ response to passage this year of President Obama’s health care plan, although the question indicates federal law might pre-empt the state law even if the state question is approved,” said an editorial in The Oklahoman.

 

Both gubernatorial candidates, Mary Fallin and Jari Askins support the measure.

 

State Question 757
State Question 757 would increase the amount of surplus revenue that goes into the state’s Constitutional Reserve Fund (commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund) from 10 percent to 15 percent of certified general revenue.

 

“Supporters believe the change is needed to increase the size of the state ‘cushion’ for future economic downturns,” McGuigan wrote in his analysis of the proposed measure. “Governor Brad Henry has backed the idea since 2006, and began to press for enactment of the idea last winter. Republicans quickly stressed their appreciation of Henry’s support for the concept. State Sen. Andrew Rice of Oklahoma City, leader-designate for Democrats, had his own version of the proposal.”

 

“(Passage) would mean the state’s financial cushion during hard times, such as the current recession, would be larger, and the retrenchment necessary could be smaller,” editorial writer Wayne Green wrote in the Tulsa World. “Perhaps more important, the change would also mean that during good times — when tax revenue consistently exceeds budgetary estimates — state government’s growth would be slower.”

 

The measure has widespread bipartisan support. Both Fallin and Askins support the question.