While still a good distance away from a solution to maintain current budgeting numbers, the House of Representatives is still looking for loose change under any proverbial seat cushion they can find.
The process has become stressful and testing the nerves of many. this is when we find the real character of so many whom we entrusted with this task.
3 Budget Ideas
There are 3 budget blueprints being mulled at the Oklahoma Capitol.
I did some conservative focus group polling, today. I asked the SoonerPolitics discussion group at Facebook just what they would like to see in the form of a state budget.
The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the OCPA model. In fact, I could not find one person to support the funding blueprint that the House & Senate leadership is pushing.
Echols: Put To The Test
One man who is garnering much praise has been Majority Leader, Jon Echols, of Okla. City. Just yesterday, this writer roasted Echols for what sounded like an unreasonable promised outcome which a cigarette tax hike could accomplish.
Jon's style and grace lead him to reach out to me. He wasn't happy with the press, but his honesty, humility, and engaging personality led me to pull that part of the column after several hours. I ran an update with an explanation of his verbal slip.
But after our correspondence I had some time to think about what an incredible gentleman Echols has been. There are times I as a writer, have blown it. Echols was as gracious as any elected official I've known.
One "Platform Caucus" member recently extolled the qualities of Echols in dealing with everyone in the capitol building. "He often volunteers to take the blame when others fail to keep promises they made." He serves at the pleasure of the Speaker and carefully avoids getting ahead of matters not yet authorized by the Speaker's office.
He says; "That's a quick way to no longer be the Majority Floor Leader."