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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Interesting Stuff Under the Methane Gas Filled Dome

There can be no question that I am, at best, cynical where legislation in the state of Oklahoma is concerned.  From the asinine "cock boxing" bill (remember that one?), to the latest round of unconstitutional tripe that Sally Kern tried to push down our throats, it's a big exercise in legislative masturbation - it may feel good, but it just doesn't provide any results.  My cynicism is often well-placed and damned well deserved, but every now and again, there are bills that pique my interest and what's even more fascinating is that these morsels of good legislation actually have push back from the status quo.

State Senator Kyle Loveless and I have worked together on a few projects in the past and I've always really considered him to be a straight shooter.  He doesn't have an agenda, but rather just wants to do the right thing.  He's penned three bills that I think you should consider and contact your state legislator and get him/her off their asses to support these bills.

SB 264-  If a vet is not happy with a VA home they are in, they will get a debit card that their funds that the state would give them go to a private long term housing - retirement home. 
Someone please explain to me why in the hell this would be considered a bad bill.  It isn't - it finally puts some power back into the hands of our veterans and takes it away from the governmental slum lords that have been these VA homes in the past. 

SB 588- Basically the oversight board over the ODVA is the Veterans War Commission- an unelected body that is responsible for the health and care of  vets that we are duty bound to take care of in our VA homes.   The goal is to streamline those responsible make the War Commission an advisory board only and give the ability to hire and fire and oversee the VA homes - to the governors sec of veterans affairs.

There is push back on this one and you can see why.  Whenever there is a bill that takes power from the people who have been screwing up for decades and provide real, tangible oversight, the old guard gets pissed off and has a hissy fit.  The reality is that this type of bill SHOULD be passed and it should become the law of the land.  There's definite blowback on this one, but if our veterans were being taken care of properly, a bill like this wouldn't be necessary, now would it?

SB 422- On the federal, level government contracts are required to maintain a percentage to qualified veteran-owned businesses.  This bill creates a state government contract preference for veteran owned businesses.
Wow.  Just, wow.  What in the hell is wrong with that?  I could see the Libertarians pissing themselves over the fact that anyone would get preferential treatment of any kind, but if they pulled their noses out of Ayn Rand's ass long enough to see the reality of what we're dealing with here, they would just shut up and deal with it.  I hate to say it, but the truth of the matter is that there are point preferences for government jobs as it is now - like when you take the postal exam, if you're a veteran, you receive additional points.  As Ronald Reagan said, "Sometimes, it's just the right thing to do."  This bill is the right thing to do.

I make no pretense that I'm a veteran who has been, and still is, under the care of the VAMC.  Sometimes the experiences are marvelous, sometimes they are like a trip through Dante's Inferno.  The increase of veterans who are eligible for VA care now has not been funded - just more patients for an already overburdened health care staff. 

Whomever is responsible for holding up these bills should be ashamed of themselves.  Finally, we see a breakthrough for veteran's care, but some asshat is holding it up because change is scary to him/her.  Sometimes, change is bloody necessary to get the job done.

Get involved and click here to reach your legislator.

Hat-tip to Senator Loveless.  It's good to see that at least one State Senator has entered the methane gas filled dome with his balls intact.