14 Mar

Chair Tom Perez on National School Walkout Day

DNC Chair Tom Perez on National School Walkout Day

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement as students across the nation demand action on gun violence during National School Walkout Day:

“It is profoundly inspiring to see millions of students across the country organizing and demanding action to end the epidemic of gun violence. As they keep reminding us, thoughts and prayers are not enough; now is the time for action.

“Democrats are proud to support these students, and we refuse to believe that we are powerless to prevent the mass slaughter of innocent people. Every day, seven children and teens die from gun violence. This is not normal. This is not acceptable. This is not inevitable. The cruel and cowardly indifference of the gun lobby and their close allies in Congress is no match for the courage of these students and all those fighting to end gun violence. Because of their leadership and activism, we know that one day we will no longer live in a nation that sees its children murdered and does nothing.”

14 Mar

Inman Offers Opportunity to Negotiate Revenue Deal on House Floor

Communications & Public Affairs
March 14, 2018

Contact: State Rep. Scott Inman
Phone: (405) 557-7370

Inman Offers Opportunity to Negotiate Revenue Deal on House Floor

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Scott Inman has filed an amendment to an amendment on House Bill 2152 to offer an opportunity to debate and pass multiple revenue raising measures on the House floor.

House Bill 2152, authored by Speaker Charles McCall, is currently a shell bill that is expected to be used as a vehicle for a future revenue raising measure. The amendment filed by Inman would cap itemized deductions at $12,500 for single filers and $25,000 for joint filers, eliminate capital gains exemptions, and restore the historic gross production tax on oil and gas to 7 percent.

“This amendment and this bill represent an opportunity to put a revenue package together on the House floor,” said Inman, D-Del City. “The amendments I have put forward represent the same revenue raising measures that House Democrats requested in the Step Up Oklahoma plan negotiations that failed to make it into the final legislation.”

By allowing the revenue package to be pieced together on the House floor through amendments, House members would have an opportunity to not only say they support raising revenue to support teachers and state agencies but prove it.

“We chose the Speaker’s shell bill because we want the Republican Party to bring their ideas to the floor as well,” Inman said. “It’s time to end this fiscal crisis and start producing results. Let’s put the ideas on the floor and see what happens.

“The House Democratic Caucus has been very open and direct through this process, and we have no problem showing the people of Oklahoma exactly what we support and – just as importantly – don’t support. If a House member doesn’t like an idea, they should vote ‘no.’ If they do support it, obviously, they can vote ‘yes.’ What we don’t want to happen is for Republican leadership to tell the people of Oklahoma they don’t deserve to see how a member votes by tabling the amendments.”


08 Mar

When We Compete, We Can Win

When we compete, we can win anywhere — even in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Democratic Party has flipped 4 seats in the state legislature from 🔴 to 🔵 since the start of 2017. How did they do it? Here’s their story:

07 Mar

DNC Chair on Historic Texas Democratic Primaries

DNC Chair on Historic Texas Democratic Primaries

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement after the historic Texas Democratic primaries, where Democrats almost doubled 2014 primary turnout, breaking a million votes for the first time in 16 years:

“Congratulations to Texas Democrats for showing us what organizing looks like. The energy in the Lone Star State is palpable; Democrats not only turned out at a record rate during early voting, they almost doubled the 2014 primary turnout while competing in every single congressional district across the state. Texans are ready to elect more Democrats because they want leaders who will stand up for them and their values, not for Donald Trump’s divisive agenda that benefits wealthy corporations and the top 1% at the expense of working families.

“What’s happening in Texas is part of a national trend. All across the country, Democrats are competing and winning in deep-red states. And we’re going to keep fighting for working families and winning elections everywhere in November and beyond.”


02 Mar

GOP Committees Hear Lowest Number of Minority Bills in Recent Memory

Contact: Jacquelyn Walsh
Phone: (405) 557-7306

GOP Committees Hear Lowest Number of Minority Bills in Recent Memory

OKLAHOMA CITY – Republican-controlled committees have once again put party over state by only passing 30 measures authored by House Democrats through the committee process.

At a time when Oklahomans from both sides of the aisle expect their voices to be heard, House Republican leadership has elected not to listen to the people but instead have used committees to retaliate against Democrats who have chosen to listen to their constituents and stand against big business and special interests.

Specifically, the minority caucus was notified that members who voted against the package would need to transfer their bills to other caucus members who were in favor of Step Up. One such measure, House Bill 2615, authored by Rep. Will Fourkiller D-Stilwell, was transferred to another Democrat all due to Rep. Fourkiller’s ‘no’ vote on Step Up – a vote requested by a majority of the constituents that contacted him. The measure simply commemorated soldiers buried at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery.

“I have spent seven years at the Capitol, representing the people of Norman and I have never before seen this level of partisan denigration, especially based on a measure that was widely rejected by both parties,” said Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman. “Several members of the Democratic caucus filed legislation requested by constituents to help make the government more responsive to their needs or to fix problems with our current laws and none of their bills were heard.”

Of the measures denied a hearing, four measures would have provided teacher pay raises of $5,000 or more and five measures would have restored the gross production tax to a rate more equitable for all of Oklahoma. Overall, 38 of the 140 measures introduced by Democratic members and not granted a hearing would have benefitted public education and helped to dramatically improve the state’s fiscal situation.

“When I filed House Bill 2842 to restore the gross production tax rate and dedicate the revenue to a long-term teacher pay increase, I knew I was facing an uphill battle,” states Rep. Matt Meredith, D-Tahlequah . “But, I also knew that there were several members, both Democrats and Republicans, that supported both of the objectives in this bill.”

Retired educator Rep. Donnie Condit, D-McAlester, filed HB2617, which sought to make a tax credit available for teachers that have paid for classroom supplies like reams of paper and pencils. The bill was assigned to a budgetary subcommittee and not granted a hearing.

Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa, filed HB2929 to help place a timeline for dealing with the backlog of nearly 7,000 untested rape kits in the state, which is an essential step in stopping serial rapists.

“The victims of sexual assault and rape continue to be ignored in our state,” Nichols said. “Many law enforcement agencies across the state failed to comply with the Governor’s audit request on untested rape kits and now because of politics we are once again showing them justice doesn’t matter. Untested kits leave us with the threat of rapist walking free. This is an urgent and dangerous problem, it should be bigger than politics but thanks to a few committee chairs, it is not.”

Other measures presented by House Democrats that failed to receive a committee hearing:

HB2531 – Authored by Rep. Collin Walke, D-Oklahoma City, would have restored of the historic gross production tax rate, boosting state revenue by over $300 million.

HB1368 – Authored by Rep. Johnny Tadlock, D-Idabel, approval of dedicated, per-pupil funds for books and supplies.

HB2611 – Authored by Rep. Johnny Tadlock, D-Idabel, created a tiered gross production tax.

HB2741 – Authored by Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha, would restore the state standard deduction.

HB2746 – Authored by Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha, would increase transparency of the Legislature by subjecting it to the same rules of other public bodies.

HB1876 – Authored by Rep. Eric Proctor, D-Tulsa, would allow a spouse or family member paid leave to care for veterans returning home with disabilities.

“It’s stunning that we have people elected to serve the citizens of Oklahoma that would refuse to hear good legislation from a member based on a previous vote,” said Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-Oklahoma City. “That kind of petty behavior from House leadership effectively silenced the voices of the thousands of Oklahomans who put their faith in their legislators.”