While officials work on enacting State Question 788, activist group Green The Vote says it has received a significant boost in signatures following the Board of Health’s approval of controversial emergency rules on.
Group leader Isaac Caviness of Tulsa said the organization has had more than 1,400 volunteers promote state questions 796 and 797, which would enshrine the right to medical and recreational marijuana, respectively, in the Oklahoma Constitution. Caviness told the Tulsa World there are about 300 stores across the state carrying signature forms for people to sign by the Aug. 8 deadline, reports the Tulsa World.
“There has been complete and total outrage by everyone,” he said of the emergency rules for SQ 788, which he said “slapped voters in the face.” “People who were possibly against the recreational petition we’re running are now completely on board with it.”
Green The Vote provides weekly signature updates on Sundays, but Caviness said there are roughly 90,000 and 100,000 signatures, respectively, for SQ 796 and 797. Each needs about 124,000 validated signatures to be approved for placement on a ballot because, unlike SQ 788, they seek to amend the constitution.
“That’s the protection we need right now to keep people from over-regulating this new industry,” Caviness said. “We’re not going to take it anymore and we’re going to get this accomplished.”
To find a location carrying copies of the petitions, go to bit.ly/potpetitionlocations.
While Oklahoma is generally considered one of the most conservative states in America, they have been saddled with a government that loves to regulate and tax everything imaginable while pretending to be conservative.
Governor Mary Fallin, considered to be the worst governor in state history, has twice denied the will of the people and stopped constitutional gun carry bills twice during her reign of incompetency over the last 8 years.
Highlighting her administration’s utter inability to govern properly, a reported cash crisis at the Oklahoma State Department of Health that led to job cuts and an emergency injection of $30 million was more of a mirage than the real thing, a months-long grand jury investigation and audit found in separate reports.
In short, utter and complete incompetency.
The state’s multicounty grand jury didn’t hand up any criminal indictments, but it did fault former top officials at the health department for creating a “slush fund” to pay for pet projects and years of financial mismanagement.
The grand jury said no federal or state money was embezzled and it didn’t uncover evidence that any former managers at the agency personally benefited from the activities.
“There are no winners as a result of this exhaustive investigation – only losers,” the grand jury concluded in its report.
“Senior leadership, who no doubt wanted only the best for public health in Oklahoma, resigned in disgrace due to their mismanagement of a state agency on a public stage. Taxpayers have lost trust in their state government for letting this crisis develop and for compounding it with wasted tax dollars and unnecessary layoffs.”
Mismanagement allegations at the health department first publicly surfaced in September as the agency announced furloughs and cuts to contracts just months into the new fiscal year. By late October, Health Commissioner Terry Cline and his top deputy, Julie Cox-Kain, had resigned along with Felesha Scanlan, business planning director.
Grand Jury Findings Include
“The Department of Health was never insolvent. The department had ample cash to pay all of its expenses, including payroll, through the end of the fiscal year … The emergency supplementary appropriation was unnecessary and remains unspent in the department’s fund balances.”
“The Department of Health, through manipulation of federal and state funds, maintained a ‘slush fund’ that allowed the department to overspent without consequence.”
“The Department’s reduction in force (RIF), which eliminated the jobs of 198 Oklahomans, was unnecessary. The Department had sufficient money, both budgeted and in its slush fund, to pay for these positions.”
“Annual budgets submitted to the Legislature and OMES (Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services) had no basis in reality; federal dollars received and spent were routinely overstated by tens of millions of dollars.”
“The Oklahoma State Board of Health failed to provide proper oversight.”
“The multicounty grand jury finds reprehensible the inept practices and processes conducted by the Department of Health before and after the alleged crisis came to light.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
July 18th, 2018