27 August 2003
Yet another lottery squabble
The way things work in Oklahoma is sometimes a source of wonderment.
In its spring session, the legislature passed both HB 1278, which authorizes the state lottery and directs the governor to call an election for its ratification by the voters, and SJR 22, which directs the governor to call an election to amend the state constitution to allow for, well, HB 1278.
The trick here is that SJR 22 didn't get a two-thirds vote, which means that the governor can't call a special election, which means that the constitutional amendment must be on a general-election ballot, scheduled for November 2004. Governor Henry insists that both measures must be on the same ballot; legislative Republicans are now claiming that Henry could call a special election for the lottery alone, and that he is practicing the politics of delay; inevitably, both sides have begun sniping at one another.
In this case, I'm inclined to side with the governor, who at least has been consistent on this issue; the GOP's complaints, I suspect, are motivated by the desire to kill the lottery before they catch flak from their right flank.