The Oklahoma Legislature has a litany of issues to solve during the 2019 session. Subjects on the docket include livable teacher wages, gun-control rights and the possible abolition of abortion in the state.
Among these heavy topics, Oklahoma lawmaker Casey Murdock thought the most pressing issue was to name the official state steak.
You read this correctly.
Oklahoma has an official state flower, a waltz, a state instrument—and on Wednesday, the Senate voted for a bill designating the ribeye as Oklahoma’s official state steak.
State Sen. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, is the author of Senate Bill 21. Murdock said the bill is all about promoting a vital part of Oklahoma’s economy and heritage.“The cattle industry is a huge part of Oklahoma’s identity,” Murdock said. “We have 5.1 million head of beef cows in Oklahoma and we’re third in the nation in the number of beef cows.”
That’s not small potatoes. According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, the most recent figures show more than 51,000 beef producers in Oklahoma and they’re in all 77 counties. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, annual cash receipts for cattle sales in Oklahoma total $3.3 billion.
Congratulations Oklahoma lawmakers, you successfully walked around other issues to get to the more fun bills to vote on. After all, it’s not like there are other, more pressing issues to attend to.
After researching the bill, I noticed that there was a resounding 40 yes vote count and only seven opposed the bill. Was this a counter-measure to get the legislature on track to vote on more important issues? Or, god forbid, you voted no because you actually morally oppose the ribeye being the official steak. What 48 Oklahoma legislators essentially did was go into a room, take attendance, and play an odd version of Would You Rather.
Let us not forget the person who had to file the bill. The man is as country-bound as one would expect. His cowboy hat says neglectful sheriff in an old west film; his mustache says I’m just here for the beef and cheap beer. While we’re also discussing things that don’t matter, let’s talk about the choice of steak. I’ll let Sen. Murdock explain his decision:
“Hands down, the ribeye is the most flavorful steak there is,” Murdock said, adding his own research verified polls he’d seen attesting to the quality and taste of the ribeye. “This is a way to promote this industry and the contribution they make to our state’s economy—and our dinner table,” Murdock said.
I could not write a better analogy for a waste of time, money and resources, if I had a lifetime.