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16 Nov
0

MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show with Anna Langthorn

Democrats feeling new energy, flipping seats in red Oklahoma

 

15 Nov
0

RELEASE: Democratic Caucus Statement on Continued Cuts to Agencies

Nov. 15, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Steve Kouplen
Phone: (405) 557-7306

Democratic Caucus Statement on Continued Cuts to Agencies

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus has released the following statement on the passage of House Bill 1019.

“Today’s passage of the revised general appropriations bill, House Bill 1019, reflects a failure of the Republican majority to listen to their constituents, invest in the state’s future, and uphold their commitment to continue services for our most vulnerable populations. The measure cuts nearly 50 agencies an average of 2.5 percent with only seven months left in the fiscal year. All of these cuts will come from remaining funding effectively doubling the percentage cut.

Because this budget relies so heavily on one-time funding, including the raiding of several agency revolving funds and draining the state’s savings account, House Republicans have once again guaranteed a budget shortfall for the next legislative session.

Republican leadership has thrown up their hands and claimed this budget is the only option. This is patently false. They have refused to bring up several recurring revenue measures that only require 51 votes, including capping the itemized deduction and eliminating the capital gains exemption.

Additionally, Republican leadership team failed on their promise to bring 75 percent of their caucus in support of a recurring revenue package that included a modest increase in the gross production tax.

After two months of games, the Republican majority has passed the budget they had long intended; one that blindly cuts funding from agencies without consideration of the effects of those cuts. It has become painfully obvious that Republicans at the State Capitol never intended to solve the budget crisis during this special session. For seven weeks, House Republican leadership has given false hope to state employees, teachers, seniors, and many other groups desperate for stability and much-deserved pay raises. By the former Appropriation & Budget Chair’s own admission, this entire special session has been orchestrated to lead to this very outcome.

House Democrats will continue to fight for responsible, equitable, and stable revenue raising measures that will put our state on a more solid fiscal path going forward, including the revenue measures referenced above, a restoration of income tax cuts for high earners, and a restoration of the gross production tax cuts that have made Oklahoma’s rate the lowest in the nation.”

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15 Nov
0

RELEASE: Tom Perez on Oklahoma’s Win

Tom Perez on Oklahoma’s Special Elections

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement after a Democratic victory in the Oklahoma Senate:

“Congratulations to Allison Ikley-Freeman on her victory in her state Senate race, which flipped one more Republican-held seat from red to blue, a district that Trump carried just last year. At 26, Ikley-Freeman becomes the third openly gay person to be elected to the Oklahoma legislature. As we saw earlier this year, Oklahomans are voting for Democrats in these deep-red districts because they know our candidates will work to resolve the budget crisis facing Oklahomans and help build an economy that works for every working family, not just a wealthy few. Tonight’s results have once again added to our growing streak of victories from last week and over the summer. But this is just the beginning. The DNC is proud to have invested in this race and we will continue working with the Oklahoma Democratic Party to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.”

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14 Nov
0

Squandered Opportunity by Republican-Super-Majority Failed Leadership

Failed Republican Leadership

Oklahoma is in this budget mess due to the squandered opportunity and failed leadership by Republican-Super-Majority run legislature! When the Republicans continue to make promises they cannot keep, it’s time to make a change at the capitol.

"Lawmakers had plenty of sensible options for recurring revenues that could have balanced the budget responsibly. Instead, they are doubling down on one-time money and cuts. This is the inevitable but unfortunate consequence of last week’s failed vote in the House of Representatives on HB 1054.

For those fearing the worst cuts, the new budget represents a partial reprieve. Overall funding is just $30 million, or 0.4 percent, less than the budget passed in May, according to our preliminary analysis. It avoids further cuts to Common Educations, Corrections, and several other critical agencies. In addition, it mostly fills the massive shortfalls that were facing the Medicaid agency, DHS and Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. This will hopefully allow these agencies to rescind the devastating cuts they would otherwise be forced to make starting December 1st. "

See original OK Policy article by David Blatt – Squandered Opportunity

Remember this today when you head to the polls. Democrats have 3 candidates ready to commit to making that change and all it takes is for you to show up today and VOTE!

Get out and Vote BLUE Oklahoma: Chris VanLandingham HD76, Steven Vincent SD45 & Allison Ikley-Freeman SD37. We need to see Democrats turning out at the polls and VOTING! Learn more about your district candidates and share: www.okdemocrats.org/candidates

09 Nov
0

RELEASE: Oklahoma Senate Democratic Leader Issues Statement on Revenue Failure

November 8, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Democratic Leader John Sparks
Capitol: (405) 521-5553

Oklahoma Senate Democratic Leader Issues Statement on Failure of ‘A+’ Revenue Package

The Oklahoma Senate Democratic Leader, Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, issued a statement today, commenting on the failure of HB 1054x in the House today:

“Today’s failure of the ‘A+’ revenue package is undoubtedly disappointing and frustrating. However, now is not the time for us to give up and settle on cash and cuts as a short-term fix for our long-term budget problem. Now is the time for us to redouble our efforts, push forward, and find a new path to a long-term budget solution which will protect the most basic, core government functions and services.

“Today, too many members of the House decided they did not support the ‘A+’ Plan. I believe there are only three reasons for a no vote on this plan: a preference to use cash on hand to plug the current budget shortfall; a preference to further cuts to the budgets of Oklahoma’s agencies; or a preference to pass a different revenue package.

“Today, more than ever, I am certain that cash and cuts are not a viable option for our state and the future of the core government functions and services on which our most vulnerable constituents rely.

“I am convinced that we cannot just use cash on hand to continue the budgetary shell games which have flourished at the Capitol over the last decade. Just this week, our intention to use the last of our limited cash to fill our long-term budget hole triggered Moody’s to downgrade Oklahoma’s fiscal status. They noted that using the last of our cash might help for a few months, but Oklahoma’s ‘inability to pass a comprehensive and permanent solution is credit negative.’ In addition, it was reported last month that Oklahoma’s current financial situation is so bad that we are one of the three states least prepared to handle an economic recession. Using one-time cash resources to fill our budget hole may ease the pressure to truly fix our budget problem, but it does nothing but highlight our ongoing fiscal mismanagement and inability to pass a comprehensive, long-term budget solution for our state.

“I am also convinced that there is no more room for cuts to core government services. We have cut to the point where we have four-day school weeks, a reduction in the Eight-Year Transportation Plan and we are facing the elimination of the ADvantage Waiver Program, which will force thousands of senior citizens out of in-home care and into nursing homes.

“For those who do wish to implement more cuts, I am asking you to show us where you wish to do so in your own district. Don’t answer with the evasive and rhetorical ‘fraud, waste and abuse.’ Do you want to consolidate your schools or to turn four-day school weeks into three-day school weeks? Do you want to take roads and bridges in your district off the repair list permanently? Do you want to permanently close state parks or OSU Extension Offices or CareerTech Centers? Are you willing to cut funding for Meals on Wheels or senior nutrition centers or veterans hospitals? If you aren’t willing to support new revenue, now is the time to itemize, in your district, where you are willing to implement permanent, recurring cuts — not one-time cost savings.

“Finally, I am convinced that since neither cash nor cuts are responsible options for Oklahoma, the final alternative is to come back with another revenue plan in the coming days. This option is the most responsible, but it is also the one that requires the most work from us. I know we are all tired. I know we all have jobs and families who we are neglecting while we are here. But if you are a legislator, or a constituent, or a stakeholder in business which opposed today’s option, then we need you to help us put together another plan which will receive the necessary level of support from the citizens of Oklahoma and their legislators.

“We all owe it to our constituents to reject cash and cuts as our only options and continue to work toward a long-term budget solution which protects the most basic, core government functions and services without balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and the vulnerable. This is what our constituents demand of us and what they deserve from each and every one of us, with no exceptions and no excuses.”

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