The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


October 18, 2010

Our take on the state questions

The Nov. 2 ballot has 11 state questions for voters to consider. Following are the Enid News & Eagle editorial board’s recommendations on the state questions.

NO — SQ 744: School funding

This is the most important question on the ballot because it has the most far-reaching effects on the state budget. This measure proposes basing K-12 education funding on education spending in six surrounding states. Spending could not be reduced even if spending in the other six states decreases. The question mandates no reform or accountability measures and could result in massive budget cuts to other agencies.

NO — SQ 746: Voter ID

This question calls for voters to present proof of identity when voting. Although voter fraud has been an issue in other states, Oklahoma has not had a problem with it and already has an effective system of checking voter identification at the polls.

NO — SQ 747: Statewide office term limits

The question imposes two terms of four years for governor, lieutenant governor, insurance commissioner, schools superintendent, labor commissioner, attorney general, treasurer and state auditor. Corporation commissioners would be limited to two terms of six years each. We typically support term limits for policy makers such as governor, lieutenant governor, senators and representatives, but the other statewide positions are more specialized. In these instances, expertise is crucial to running these state agencies. Automatically forcing these positions out after two terms is not necessary. The voters still can make that choice.

YES — SQ 748: Legislative apportionment

This measure increases the number of members of the apportionment commission from three to seven. The apportionment commission only is called into action if the Legislature can’t settle the matter of drawing up legislative districts. Even if that is unlikely to happen, we don’t see the harm in adding new bipartisan members to the commission.

YES — SQ 750: Initiative petition signatures

This question basically changes the election on which the number of signatures is based to bring an initiative petition. The number currently is based on general elections in which there is a presidential election. This would change it to be the last general election in which the governor was on the ballot. This would stabilize the number of petition signatures needed.

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