Five state ques­tions to go be­fore vot­ers

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - NEWS - BY SI­LAS ALLEN Staff Writer sallen@ok­la­homan.com

Ok­la­homa vot­ers will see five state ques­tions on Tues­day’s bal­lot.

• State Ques­tion 793 would al­low large re­tail­ers such as Wal­mart to of­fer op­tom­e­try ser­vices in their stores. Sup­port­ers say it would give con­sumers bet­ter ac­cess to those ser­vices. Op­po­nents say it would give large cor­po­ra­tions to­tal con­trol over the doc­tors op­er­at­ing in their stores, in­clud­ing bar­ring them from pro­vid­ing ser­vices that aren’t prof­itable.

• State Ques­tion 794, com­monly known as Marsy’s Law, would en­shrine cer­tain vic­tims’ rights in the Ok­la­homa Con­sti­tu­tion. It would give vic­tims the right to speak to a pros­e­cu­tor, ex­pand the court pro­ceed­ings in which vic­tims have a right to be heard, al­low the vic­tim to refuse in­ter­view re­quests from de­fense at­tor­neys with­out a sub­poena and add rights to rea­son­able pro­tec­tion and pro­ceed­ings free from un­rea­son­able de­lay. Sup­port­ers say the law would re­store bal­ance and fair­ness to the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. Op­po­nents say it would un­der­mine due process and widen al­readyex­ist­ing in­equities in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem.

• State Ques­tion 798 would change the sys­tem Ok­la­homa uses for elect­ing gov­er­nors and lieu­tenant gov­er­nors. Rather than elect­ing can­di­dates for those of­fices sep­a­rately, as vot­ers have since state­hood, vot­ers would in­stead se­lect joint tick­ets that in­clude a gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date and a run­ning mate, sim­i­lar to pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. The Ok­la­homa Leg­is­la­ture would de­ter­mine the process for se­lect­ing lieu­tenant gov­er­nor can­di­dates. Sup­port­erssay it would en­cour­age a stronger part­ner­ship be­tween the gov­er­nor and lieu­tenant gov­er­nor. Op­po­nents say, de­pend­ing on how run­ning mates are se­lected, it could limit op­por­tu­ni­ties for women, mi­nori­ties and can­di­dates from ru­ral Ok­la­homa.

• State Ques­tion 800 would di­vert 5 per­cent of gross pro­duc­tion tax col­lec­tions to a new state bud­get re­serve fund called the Ok­la­homa Vi­sion Fund be­gin­ning July 1, 2020. The per­cent­age of funds di­verted would in­crease by .2 per­cent each year, with no cap on the ul­ti­mate per­cent­age that would be di­verted. That money would cre­ate an en­dow­ment that would be ex­pected to grow over the years. Sup­port­ers say the mea­sure would help smooth out the state’s boom-and-bust bud­get cy­cles. Op­po­nents say it could erode mil­lions of dol­lars for state ser­vices, in­clud­ing ed­u­ca­tion.

• State Ques­tion 801 would amend the Ok­la­homa Con­sti­tu­tion to al­low lo­cal school dis­tricts to use­prop­erty tax dol­lars on teacher pay and other op­er­a­tional costs. Un­der cur­rent law, dis­tricts may only use that money for main­te­nance, re­pair op­er­a­tions, up­keep and con­struc­tion of dis­trict fa­cil­i­ties and grounds. Sup­port­ers say the mea­sure would al­low cash-strapped dis­tricts more flex­i­bil­ity in how they use their money. Op­po­nents say it would in­crease in­equities in pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, since more af­flu­ent dis­tricts would have more op­tions than dis­tricts in poorer ar­eas.

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