Blog Oklahoma Podcast 170: SQ 814

Welcome to Blog Oklahoma

No matter which political party or candidate you support or don't, you should vote this November 3rd. There are two state questions on the ballot. The state questions are your opportunity to vote directly on the laws and statutes of Oklahoma. So, it's kind of important.

As I like to do every election cycle, I'll go over the state questions with you. In last week's episode I went over state question 805, so please go back and listen it if you didn't. In this episode I'm going to go over with you State Question 814, the Decrease Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund Deposits and Fund Medicaid Program Amendment.

First, I'll read to you the state question as it appears on the ballot. I do this to help you and me comprehend the question a bit better. When you see it on the ballot it will just be a long block of words, sometimes with exceedingly long sentences, and occasionally written in legal speak. So sometimes it helps to hear it.

When I'm done, I will give you my opinion on what I think this question mean. But please remember to do your own research. In the show notes, I'll have links to information about the state question to help you make up your own mind.

So, let's get this over with. These are not fun to read. Ha.

State Question 814
Legislative Referendum 375

This measure seeks to amend Article 10, Section 40 of the Oklahoma Constitution (Section 40), which directs proceeds from the State's settlements with or judgments against tobacco companies. Currently, Section 40 directs 75% of proceeds to the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Fund (TSET Fund), where earnings may only be used for tobacco prevention programs, cancer research, and other such programs to maintain or improve the health of Oklahomans. Meanwhile, the remaining 25% of proceeds are directed to a separate fund for the Legislature (Legislative Fund). The Legislature can also direct some of that 25% to the Attorney General.

This measure amends Section 40 to reduce the percentage of proceeds that go into the TSET Fund from 75% to 25%. As a result, the remaining 75% will go to the Legislative Fund and the Legislature may continue to direct a portion to the Attorney General.

The measure would also restrict the use of the Legislative Fund. Section 40 currently states only that the Legislative Fund is subject to legislative appropriation. If this measure passes, money from the Legislative Fund must be used to get federal matching funds for Oklahoma's Medicaid Program.

SHALL THE PROPOSAL BE APPROVED?
FOR THE PROPOSAL- YES
AGAINST THE PROPOSAL- NO

So, the legislature wants to pull more money from the TSET Fund to pay for the Medicaid expansion program and send more money to the Attorney General's office.

So basically, in my opinion, they want to raid money from one fund and put it in another instead for raising money for the new fund.

TSET was established by voters as a trust devoted to preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease here in Oklahoma. It awards grants to schools, communities, state agencies to improve the health of Oklahoma's citizens. It also funds research.

That means, this fund's money is already in use. Again in my opinion, this is just a bad idea.

So what do you think? Are you for or against State Question 814. Let us know. I'll have a discussion thread setup on the Blog Oklahoma subreddit. So please, join the conversation. Let's talk about it.

I'll have a link to this and more below.

Register To Vote

If you haven't yet, please go register to vote. Here in Oklahoma you only have until Friday, October 9th to register to vote in the November 3rd general election.

If you are registered to vote and want to vote absentee, you only have until Tuesday, October 27th to request an absentee ballot. It is really encouraged that you don't put this off and request your absentee ballot now, and as soon as you get your ballot, fill it out, sign it, go get it notarized or attach a copy of your driver's license to it, and drop it into the mail. The sooner the better.

For more details on how to register to vote or request an absentee ballot please visit ok.gov/elections.

Links From This Episode

Commentary

How have you been? Did you have a good week? Mine was okay.

I think I've fixed my electrical issues. I picked up a new battery backup for the office. So hopefully I won't have a repeat of what happed last week. That was stressful. Ha.

Okay. Now I'm going to get a bit more political than normal do here on the podcast. Yes, I talk about politics, but it's mostly to get you to go vote. I mostly definitely express my political opinion on my personal social media, but I try to not do that yere on the podcast. That's changing from now on. I'm not going to pretend to be neutral. No, I'm not converting this into a politic podcast. This is something I need to talk about. If you want to read it, please click the Show Commentary button below. I'm not insulted if you don't, and hopefully I'll see you next week with an all new episode.

First off, I like to send my thoughts to President Trump and his family and hope they have a quick recovery. I wouldn't wish COVID or any illness on anyone. Even if its someone I don't agree with or respect.

My wish is for him to be voted out of office this November, that's it.

That said Mr. President, Karma, it is what it is.

Well something aggravating happened last week. Someone came on into my yard and stole my Oklahoman's for Biden sign. That's just low.

This is something that is happening across this state. You can't support your preferred candidate for office without some red-hatted asshat trespassing on or worse vandalizing your property.

Besides what's happened to me, I've seen and read about neighbors from around the state that this has happened to. It's sad.

Oklahoma, I like to think you're better than that. When something happens here in Oklahoma like a tornado, we all put all our differences aside and help our neighbors. You remember the phrase, Oklahoma Strong. Except when it comes to politics.

Not all of your neighbors support your preferred candidate. If you're out there being a bully about it. You're the problem, not your neighbor. So please respect people's property and opinion.

Anyway, the joke is on the person that stole my sign. They've just made another donation to the Oklahoma Democratic party and I've already ordered a new sign. Ha.

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