On Saturday, Governor Kevin Stitt addressed the Tulsa County GOP Convention. One of his 2020 agenda items is a call for the people of Oklahoima to vote to authorize a new constitutional convention.
Gov. Stitt said the original constitution ratified in 1907 was the longest of any state. It's decried by President Theodore Roosevelt as "Twice as long as the New Testament and twice as hard to read."
Since then, the voters have continually amended the document at a rate of once every 8 months. Many potions of the original constitutions are merely legislation to appropriate the first funds of budget year 1908 to various agencies.
Many more portions are now ruled unconstitutional as they are contrary to federal constitutional law.
We teach our teenagers that "Ignorance of the law is no excuse", but so many statutes and constitutional language remains in the official documents, even though they cannot and should not ever be enforced to the detriment of the Oklahoma residents.
Meanwhile, in the Oklahoma Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Joe Newhouse achieved passage of his SJR31 call for a ballot question to ask the voters to authorize a convention.
If that convention is called and succeeds to create a proposed replacement or amended current constitution, then the voters will have final authority to ratify or reject the proposal and continue under current constitutional framework.
For the past several years, several lawmakers have presented annual calls for a ballot question. But leadership has failed to even call for such a committee vote since 1974. Banz, Loveless, Dahm, McEachin, Fetgatter, and others have insisted that presenting this required 20 year question is an oath of their office.