Initiative Petition No. 344, State Question No. 630, In re, No. 74411

CourtSupreme Court of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtHODGES; HARGRAVE, C.J., and LAVENDER
Citation797 P.2d 326,1990 OK 75
Decision Date19 June 1990
Docket NumberNo. 74411

Page 326

797 P.2d 326
1990 OK 75
No. 74411.
Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
June 19, 1990.
As Corrected June 22, 1990.
As Corrected on Denial of Rehearing Sept. 17, 1990.

Thomas Dee Frasier, Tulsa, for protestants.

Andrews Davis Legg Bixler, Milsten & Price by John C. Andrews, John F. Fischer, Douglas C. McBee, Robert H. Henry, Atty. Gen., and Neal Leader, Asst. Atty. Gen., Oklahoma City, for proponents.

HODGES, Justice.

This is a protest challenging Initiative Petition No. 344, State Question No. 630 (Petition). Protestants raise the following objections to the Petition: (1) The Petition is invalid because people who signed it were not given sufficient information to enable them to make a knowledgeable decision; (2) The ballot title of State Question No. 630 cannot be written to comply with Okla. Stat. tit. 34, § 9 (Supp.1983); (3) The Petition violates article XXIV, section 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution; and (4) The Petition violates Okla. Const. art. IV, § 1 and art. V. After reviewing the objections, we find that the Petition violates article XXIV, section 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution and, therefore, need not address the other issues.

The main thrust of Initiative Petition No. 344 is to repeal the existing article VI of the Oklahoma Constitution and replace it with a new article VI. Article VI is the article which defines the executive branch of government.

Changes made by the Petition include the following:

(1) shortens the terms of the non-attorney members of the Judicial Nominating Commission, a part of the judicial department of government, from the six years as set out in article 7-B(a)(3) to four years;

(2) alters the method of selecting the Lieutenant Governor;

(3) eliminates the constitutional authority for and the duties and functions of the State Pardon and Parole Board;

(4) gives the Governor sole authority to "grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses, except cases of impeachment";

(5) repeals the requirement that the Governor report to the Legislature each case of reprieve, commutation, parole or pardon, granted;

(6) establishes a cabinet form of government consisting of ten named secretaries with authorization for another five;

(7) authorizes the Governor to submit a reorganization plan for the Executive Branch to the Legislature for approval;

(8) allows the governor to appoint a majority of all boards immediately upon taking

Page 328

office and the remaining members two years later;

(9) removes the power of the Legislature to enact laws determining how vacancies of elected offices of the Executive Branch are filled;

(10) removes the Governor's duty to give each house a full report of each state office and commission;

(11) repeals the Governor's pocket-veto after the Legislature adjourns;

(12) adds a process to declare the Governor disabled and provides for his replacement by the Lt. Governor if the disability continues for six months;

(13) repeals the Governor's absence from the state as an event triggering the passage of the Governor's duties to the Lt. Governor;

(14) transfers the power to designate the Lt. Governor's duties which are not enumerated in the Constitution from the Legislature to the Governor;

(15) adds the requirement that the Attorney General be licensed to practice law in the state;

(16) confines the State Auditor's duties to those enumerated in the Constitution and removes the Legislature's power to assign duties to the State Auditor, the State Treasurer, and the Insurance Commissioner;

(17) adds the requirement that the State Auditor examine the books of school districts and provide uniform accounting systems for school districts and municipalities;

(18) repeals the requirement that the Insurance Commissioner give bond;

(19) repeals the constitutional authority for the Arbitration and Conciliation Board;

(20) places the State Superintendent of Public Instruction under the supervision of the State Board of Education;

(21) repeals the prohibition against State, National or County officers from serving on the Board of Regents for two years after the tenure in office has ceased;

(22) removes the Lt. Governor, State Auditor, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction from membership on the Commissioners of the Land Office and adds the State Treasurer;

(23) repeals the prohibition against Executive officers receiving any fees, costs, or perquisites of the office or compensation other than received as service for the office;

(24) repeals the constitutional authorization for the Board of Agriculture;

(25) repeals the constitutional authorization for the Department of Mines; and

(26) repeals the requirement that Executive officers and commissioners maintain accounts and report their status to the Governor.

This list of changes does not reflect every change which would be made by the proposed amendment.

Article XXIV, section 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution states:

"No proposal for the amendment or alteration of this Constitution which is submitted to the voters shall embrace more than one general subject and the voters shall vote...

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34 cases
  • Gaddis v. Moore (In re Initiative Petition No. 420, State Question No. 804 ), Case No. 118,405
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • February 4, 2020
    ...Petition No. 342, State Question No. 628, 1990 OK 76, 797 P.2d 331 and In re Initiative Petition No. 344, State Question No. 630, 1990 OK 75, 797 P.2d 326, were decided on the same day. In both matters the initiative petitions repealed and replaced an entire article of the Oklahoma Constitu......
  • Oklahoma's Children, Our Future, Inc. v. Coburn, Case Number: 117020
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • June 22, 2018
    ...P.3d 125. There are limits-constitutional and statutory-that guide the proper exercise of both rights. In re Initiative Petition No. 344 , 1990 OK 75, ¶ 14, 797 P.2d 326. See Comty. Gas and Service Co. v. Walbaum , 1965 OK 118, ¶¶ 7-9, 404 P.2d 1014. ¶9 In order to assure these limits are o......
  • Keating v. Johnson, 86628
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • May 14, 1996
    ...the question posed here in 1914 in Riley, and we last answered it six years ago on June 19, 1990, in In re Initiative Petition No. 344, 797 P.2d 326, 327-330 (Okla.1990), when we rejected an initiative petition ballot title among other reasons because it failed sufficiently to advise the el......
  • Initiative Petition No. 349, State Question No. 642, In re, 76437
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • August 4, 1992 find the initiative petition unconstitutional. Not quite two years ago, we defined our duty in In re Initiative Petition No. 344, 797 P.2d 326, 330 (Okla.1990) holding "... This Court is the Protector of our Constitution. While the electorate has a constitutional right to amend the Oklah......
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