The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 22, 2013

Editorial: Supreme Court ruling another lesson for Legislature

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The Oklahoma Supreme Court’s ruling was fairly predictable to many, but it apparently surprised some at 23rd and Lincoln.

An agreement among GOP leaders to slash the personal income tax rate and provide $120 million for Capitol repairs was ruled unconstitutional.

The problem? The Legislature’s bill contained more than one subject.

The court unanimously ruled the legislation violated the Oklahoma Constitution’s ban on logrolling, which is including multiple subjects into one bill, according to The Associated Press.

Gov. Mary Fallin was not happy with the court’s ruling.

“I am extremely disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to unravel a plan that would have provided tax relief to Oklahoma families as well as a way of restoring our crumbling Capitol building,” Fallin said in a statement.

This is not a new concept. In recent years, the state’s Supreme Court has shot down numerous bills for violating the state’s single-subject rule.

Remember that overhaul of our state’s civil justice system that was ruled unconstitutional last June, prompting the governor to call back legislators for a special session to separately pass the bills again?

This is yet another lesson for our Legislature. While political compromise involves packaging projects, legislation must be able to stand on its own.