Monday, March 8, 2010


Your phone calls to the State Capitol are needed on Monday or Tuesday, preferably Monday.

First, the most important bill. Your in-action may allow for your electric utility bills to increase by a minimum of 20%. This past Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. on Oklahoma City’s CBS affiliate, Channel 9 News, they had a feature story about the haze over the Wichita Wildlife Refuge near Lawton. I wrote about this issue in last Monday night’s e-mail.

Here is the situation. The federal Environmental Protection Authority

(EPA) is about to require PSO to spend $700 million dollars and OG&E to spend $1 BILLION dollars to install expensive environmental equipment to solve a problem neither of them causes. In fact a problem that can be debated as to how much is natural and how much is man made and what happens in Texas (not Oklahoma) that may cause that problem.

In the news story a spokesman for OG&E indicated if the new regulations were IMPOSED, it would cause a 20% rate hike for all customers, both residential and business. This past week, a Vice President for OG&E told a small group of company employees it could even cause rates to double.

These utilities are working with Oklahoma’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to work out a compromise with the EPA which may lessen the increased costs to Oklahoma’s consumers and businesses, a least for a few years. In other words the DEQ and Oklahoma’s utilities are on their bended knees, licking the boots of the bureaucratic royalty at the federal EPA, begging them to have mercy on we poor little Okies.

IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY! State Representative Sally Kern has authored HB 3219 which would establish Oklahoma’s DEQ and the Corporation Commission as the final authority regarding environmental issues. This would place the EPA in an submissive position to Oklahoma and allow us to trump President Obama’s radical environmental agenda.

The legislation passed out of committee, but sources have told me that Republican LEADERSHIP in the House does not intend to allow it to be heard on the floor this week! The deadline for bills to be heard so they can move over to the Senate is this Thursday.

In this case the front man holding up this legislation is State Representative Tad Jones (R-Claremore) who currently serves as the House Floor Leader. Representative Jones is also running for State Labor Commissioner. If he prevents this bill from being heard which could prevent utility bills from increasing for the vast majority of Oklahomans, he can fold up his election campaign right now because he is going to suffer a humiliating defeat in the primaries. However, he may just be the “stop it man” for Speaker Benge and the other members of the Republican leadership team in the House? It doesn’t matter because he is part of that leadership team. Either way, the following action is needed. Please call and e-mail, especially call these two people at the Capitol:

Call State Representative Tad Jones’ office at (405) 557- 7380 .

Call Speaker Chris Benge’s office at (405) 557-7444 .

Tell them you want HB 3219, the Oklahoma Environmental Authority Act, to advance to the floor for a vote of the entire House. Ask them if they are willing to allow this bill to be heard? I have promised in the past that I would never ask you to make calls if it were not important, this is very important.


HB 3108, again by Representative Sally Kern has passed out of committee, but sources tell me leadership doesn’t want this legislation to be heard on the floor before the full House.

This bill would correct some of the improper bleeding of funds out of the teacher retirement system. It appears that in 1986 the Democrats, then fully in control in the legislature, hid some Easter egg benefits deeply in the basket of some piece of legislation.

The outcome of the legislation was to allow a teacher to leave government employment and go to work for a union such as the OEA. Even though no longer employed as a government teacher, and now that they would be working for a private entity, state taxpayers were to continue to pay into their retirement fund.

In addition their number of years in service were to continue and their retirement would be based upon their pay in the union, which would probably be much higher than that of a teacher. They deserve their retirement from the time they were employed as a teacher or perhaps a principle, but when they leave government employment and go to work for a private entity, the tax payers should no longer be paying into their retirement. Especially since the actuaries are off base since contributions being paid in are not able to keep up with the amounts being paid out. This is just one more reason Oklahoma’s teacher retirement system is among the worst in the nation and at risk of not being able to meet its future obligations.

Again, please call Tad Jones office at (405) 557- 7380 or as well as Speaker Chris Benge’s office at (405)

557-7444 or .

Ask them to advance HB 3108 to stop the bleeding from the teacher retirement fund because as a taxpayer you don’t want to pay ever more money into this fund when some of it is being spent improperly. If you want to e-mail about both of these issues that is fine, but pleas call as that is most important. Please don’t mix the issues in your phone calls. Make two calls even if you call about one then hang up and call again about the other issue.

Thanks for your help, you do make a difference and we are nearing an important deadline.

Charlie Meadows

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