Senate Bill 869 prohibits “two-year colleges from offering certain scholarships to certain students for certain purpose.” Well, that’s enlightening, isn’t it?
The bill also claims to be “declaring an emergency.” I’m not sure what is quite so urgent about preventing scholarships, but hey, this is Oklahoma. Maybe the legislatures just got bored of passing laws to fight meth.
So this new piece of legislation will outlaw two-year colleges from giving athletic scholarships to non-Oklahoma residents. They will no longer be able to offer athletic scholarships covering housing, tuition or textbooks as of July 1 of this year.
The reasoning behind this bill seems to hinge on the fact that these two-year schools are funded by state appropriations. The state doesn’t want to pay for a non-Oklahoman to come to Oklahoma and attend school, which is logical. These two-year schools should not be looking to spend Oklahoma revenue on bringing in out-of-state students so their football team will have a slight advantage. It’s silly to use this money for an athletic advantage.
However, the content of this bill does not seem to make it “immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety” and therefore “an emergency is hereby declared to exist.”
If you don’t want to pay for another state’s kids to come play sports at Oklahoma schools, just say so. Don’t make it a matter of public peace, or national security, or any of the other scary-sounding phrases that the government is fond of throwing around. Using such terminology flippantly doesn’t make the bill sound important, it makes our government sound silly.