This week was the annual OYE (Oklahoma Youth Expo) at the State Fairgrounds in OKC. Students who participate in FFA and 4H across the state attend this weeklong event to exhibit their livestock. The OYE Legislative Showmanship event is held annually and gives legislators an opportunity to learn from local students how to show livestock. This has been my favorite OKC event since joining the Oklahoma Legislature!
This year, I was paired with Blake (5th grade) and his young goat, Scooter. To say Scooter was a handful is an understatement! I was exhausted by the end of the evening. Blake was very skilled in leading and presenting his goat for inspection. On the other hand, I needed lots of instruction! I appreciated Blake’s assistance and enjoyed meeting his mom, Megan, who was there supporting him.
As mentioned in the weekly legislative radio interview this morning, there are some bills to be watching that have just passed through the House and are on their way to the Senate. Several bills this session which are moving through both chambers seek to increase state-guided economic development and improve state efficiency in data management. All are being presented as beneficial to Oklahoma citizens.
HB3419(755 pages) creates Service Oklahoma. This is a new agency intended to collect, store and disseminate all information currently collected by the State of Oklahoma. The program will initially create a centralized location for motor vehicle information, drivers’ licenses, and voter registration (most information collected by DPS currently). However, the purpose of Service Oklahoma is eventually to provide a clearing house for all information and services needed by citizens and/or various state officers and agencies.
HB3279 creates a virtual currency banking system to be managed by the State of Oklahoma. The proposal is eventually to include much more than just banking transactions.
As stated in the bill, the anticipated benefits of the development and use by the
State of Oklahoma of an integrated logistics, information, custodial, and payment
tracking ecosystem, which uses hack-resistant distributed ledger technologies and a convertible virtual currency include: (This is an abridged list.)
- keeping customers’ and any government citizens’ or licensees’ data secure and confidential, but available to ecosystem participants, stakeholders, regulators, and law enforcement communities on a transparent and need-to-know basis
- automating notifications of a child attempting to purchase contraband
- integrating smart packaging (RFID) to be placed on all products with payments and tracking throughout the supply chain
- making cashless purchasing easier with biometric identification and database matching
- using the cashless, electronic fund transfer of digital assets for all transactions between all parties within the specified community
- generating statistical data for decision-making by: a. allowing designated agency personnel to create surveys and order data sets; b. establishing and collecting Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliant, self-reported, voluntary patient reviews, and correlating and tracking specific products for their physiological and psychological efficacy, thus enabling patients, health care providers, labs, processors, and producers to better calibrate and correlate their related choices; c. giving policymakers empirically based and broad statistical samples based on surveys.
This system is designed ultimately to track and record all transactions of businesses and individuals from manufacturing to distribution to consuming. This system will be monitoring any exchange of goods and services. This has the potential to be more sinister than George Orwell’s most fevered nightmares.
In other areas:
Governor Stitt has moved forward with negotiations to bring several out-of-state corporations, including an unsuccessful electric car manufacturer, to the Mid America Industrial Park in Pryor absent the approval of local citizens. This is state-guided economic development which uses the money of taxpayers to encourage out-of-state companies and even international companies to move here. It potentially removes the opportunity of industrious Oklahomans to fill a need based on the demand in their area for a desired product or service without the aid of the state. It eliminates the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.
It is the responsibility of the People to hold our government accountable and to limit government regulation in all areas of our lives. Pay attention to these new programs coming out of our State Legislature. They are being lobbied as necessities to make life easier. I ask for any evidence that increased government involvement has ever helped the individual, taxpaying citizen.