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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) and the Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature hate working people

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) and the Republican majorities in both houses of the state legislature hate working people. For example, Think Progress reports,

At a time when many states and cities are working on passing minimum wage increases, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has gone in the opposite direction and signed a law banning cities from passing higher wages. The bill also bans them from enacting paid sick days or vacation requirements.

The law will stymie the efforts of activists in Oklahoma City, where a labor federation has led the push on a petition to raise the city’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The state’s current minimum has been set at the federal level of $7.25. In 2012, 64,000 workers in the state earned $7.25 an hour or less, making up 7.2 percent of all hourly workers, a larger share than the 4.7 percent figure for the country as a whole.

Governor Fallin claims the legislation is necessary to protect businesses and jobs. Otherwise, businesses would have to eliminate jobs to remain profitable.

Her argument is ridiculous and stupid because there is no evidence to support it. This is not complicated. If businesses will pay their workers a living wage, their workers will have more money to spend thereby increasing demand for goods and services. Instead of eliminating jobs, businesses would have to hire more employees to keep up with increased demand for their products and services. The evidence supports raising the minimum wage.

The legislature’s decision to prohibit cities from enacting paid sick days or minimum vacation requirements is hateful, mean spirited and stupid. If there are no paid sick days, workers who are sick will go to work rather than stay home. That means they may infect other workers and, if they work in food production, they may contaminate the product with their illnesses. When it comes to vacations, the governor and the legislators certainly are not going to be cancelling of foregoing their vacation plans.

The bottom line here is that the Republicans hate the people who work for a living. Mind you, our economy would cease to function without working people. They are human beings entitled to respect and dignity.

But that’s not all, Governor Fallin signed a bill into law yesterday that establishes nitrogen as the go-to method of execution in the state, if drugs are unavailable. The use of nitrogen to suffocate and kill people has not been tested.

I cannot think of any reason to respect Oklahoma Republicans.

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Frederick Leatherman

Frederick Leatherman

I am a former law professor and felony criminal defense lawyer who practiced in state and federal courts for 30 years specializing in death penalty cases, forensics, and drug cases.

I taught criminal law, criminal procedure, law and forensics, and trial advocacy for three years after retiring from my law practice.

I also co-founded Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW) at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and recruited 40 lawyers who agreed to work pro bono, assisted by law students, representing 17 innocent men and women wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing their children in the notorious Wenatchee Sex Ring witch-hunt prosecutions during the mid 90s. All 17 were freed from imprisonment.