Blog

09 Feb
0

RELEASE: Dyslexia to be Highlighted at State Capitol Feb. 20

Dyslexia to be Highlighted at State Capitol Feb. 20

OKLAHOMA CITY (9 February 2017) – An event to focus attention on dyslexia is scheduled at the State Capitol later this month, Rep. Ed Cannaday announced Thursday.

The Porum Democrat will join the advocacy group Decoding Dyslexia OK in co-hosting a “come-and-go” meeting Feb. 20 in Capitol Room 112, from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will be held in conjunction with Capitol Dyslexia Awareness Day, and the event will be open to the public, Cannaday said.

For additional information, contact Cannaday’s Capitol office at (405) 557-7375; or Michelle Keiper, founding member of Decoding Dyslexia OK, at (918) 691-6118; or by visiting the website www.decodingdyslexiaok.org.

Dyslexia, a reading disorder, is characterized by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence. Different people are affected to varying degrees. Problems may include difficulties in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, “sounding out” words in the head, pronouncing words when reading aloud, and understanding what one reads.

“Oklahoma’s institutions of higher education are not adequately preparing our teachers to identify this serious disability,” said Cannaday, a retired school teacher/administrator. Two-thirds of Oklahoma fourth graders read below proficiency levels in 2015, he said; blame was attributed at least in part to suspected dyslexia.

Dyslexia can be managed through early identification, Cannaday said. “We have effective interventions, but first, educators must be able to identify the condition.” To address this need, Cannaday has filed House Bill 1789.

It would require educators in kindergarten through third grade who teach early childhood education, elementary education and/or special education to receive quality training in “multisensory structured language teaching methods in order to meet the needs of students identified as having dyslexia.”

HB 1789 has been assigned to the House Committee on Common Education.

-30-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008135227880

MIKE W. RAY
Media Director, Democratic Caucus
Oklahoma House of Representatives
(405) 962-7819 office
(405) 245-4411 mobile

08 Feb
0

The Senate Has Failed Public Education and Our Children’s’ Future

For Immediate Release
February 8, 2017

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
405-427-3366
Oklahoma Democratic Party

The Senate Has Failed Public Education and Our Children’s’ Future

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party is deeply disappointed that the U.S. Senate placed partisan politics over our children’s education by confirming an unqualified, incompetent, and anti-public education proponent to lead the U.S. Education Department.

Betsy Devos’s confirmation is a slap in the face to parents and students that attend public schools throughout the United States, but particularly here in Oklahoma. Not one of our Senators stood up for Oklahoma public school children by denouncing Devos’s inexperience in public education knowing that our state is facing a public education crisis and is one of the lowest in the nation for teacher’s pay, and per pupil spending.

How can Oklahomans have confidence in our Senators’ interests to represent our constituents if they are focused on playing for-profit-politics with our children’s future? The Senate has failed public education by confirming a secretary more interested in diverting public funds into private education and who doesn’t understand the needs and challenges that our public school teachers and students face daily.

###

The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdemocrats.org or by calling (405) 427-3366.

07 Feb
0

RELEASE: Okla. Car Buyers Should Have 3-Day ‘Cooling Off’ Period, Legislator Believes

Okla. Car Buyers Should Have 3-Day ‘Cooling Off’ Period, Legislator Believes

OKLAHOMA CITY (7 February 2017) – A state legislator thinks Oklahoma’s “lemon law” that focuses on mechanical defects isn’t enough when it comes to buying a car, truck or van. What the state also needs, he believes, is a “cooling off” provision.

House Bill 1473 by state Rep. George E. Young, Sr., would require every contract for the sale of a motor vehicle to contain a “buyer’s remorse” provision that would allow a customer to cancel the contract within three days and return the vehicle to the seller “if the purchaser is not satisfied.”

Young, D-Oklahoma City, concedes his proposal will face an uphill fight but contends it’s needed. “I was surprised to see that no statue on the books covered this. It was brought to me by a constituent and I feel it is a very just correction to our laws.”

HB 1473 was assigned Tuesday to the House Committee on the Judiciary – Civil and Environmental.

The federal Truth in Lending Act accords a three-day right of rescission to any homeowner refinancing an existing mortgage, or to someone securing a home equity loan. The Federal Trade Commission offers consumers a three-day rescission period when they purchase products or services at a place other than the seller’s primary place of business. Sales of new residential windows, for example, are subject to a three-day “cooling off” requirement.

-30-

MIKE W. RAY
Media Director, Democratic Caucus
Oklahoma House of Representatives
(405) 962-7819 office
(405) 245-4411 mobile

07 Feb
0

DNC Statement: Voters Will Hold Heller, Flake, GOP Accountable for DeVos Confirmation

DNC: Voters Will Hold Heller, Flake, GOP Accountable for DeVos Confirmation

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans voted today to confirm Betsy DeVos as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education. DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile released the following statement:

“President Trump’s swamp got a new billionaire today. Millions of teachers, parents and students could not have made their opposition to Betsy Devos’s confirmation any clearer – they do not want someone whose only education experience is dismantling public schools. A Republican senator like Dean Heller or Jeff Flake could have cast the single vote needed to halt this confirmation. Instead, their constituents in states like Nevada and Arizona will cast their votes next year to kick them out of office for selling out their state’s public school children.”

07 Feb
0

RELEASE: Interest on ‘Payday Loans’ Would be Slashed In HB 1404 Filed by Rep. Mickey Dollens

Interest on ‘Payday Loans’ Would be Slashed In HB 1404 Filed by Rep. Mickey Dollens

OKLAHOMA CITY (7 February 2017) – “Predatory” lenders imposing “unfair and abusive” loan terms on “people who feel as though they have nowhere to turn” resulted in a bill by a first-term legislator to slash the interest rate on so-called “payday loans”.

A lender “shall not charge an annual percentage rate greater than 60%” for any loan issued “pursuant to the Deferred Deposit Lending Act,” decrees House Bill 1404 by state Rep. Mickey Dollens. Currently the ceiling on a payday loan is 390%, the south Oklahoma City Democrat said.

“Again and again, while I was knocking doors on the campaign trail” last year, “I would hear about the need for better regulation on payday loans,” Dollens said. Lowering the APR “would help prevent vulnerable borrowers from drowning in a cycle of debt,” he said.

According to the Oak View Law Group of Los Altos, CA, the maximum amount of a payday loan in Oklahoma is $500, for a duration of 12 to 45 days. The fees and finance charges are $15 for every $100 (up to $300) plus $10 on every $100 advanced above $300. The finance charge on a 14-day $100 loan is $15, and the APR on a 14-day $100 loan is 390%.

The proposed ceiling of 60% “would allow small-business owners to pay their bills without imposing devastatingly oppressive interest rates on vulnerable borrowers,” Dollens said.

Payday loan companies collected more than $52 million in fees and interest in Oklahoma in 2014, Dollens said. “That’s a lot of money going into just a few pockets,” he said. “Not only that, but these lenders have been shown to target young people, immigrants who have come into our state to pursue ‘the American dream’, and minority populations. In addition, they target our military personnel, which is disgraceful.”

The state Department of Consumer Credit, which regulates deferred deposit lenders (companies that extend what are commonly referred to as payday loans), reported that 944,712 DDL loans totaling almost $392 million were made in this state in 2014 (the latest year for which such data is available).

“We need to explore long-term solutions – such as micro-lending and providing a living wage – so that families who turn to these lenders can have other options to fulfill their day-to-day needs,” Dollens said.

HB 1404 was assigned Tuesday to the House Committee on Banking, Financial Services and Pensions.

-30-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008135227880

MIKE W. RAY
Media Director, Democratic Caucus
Oklahoma House of Representatives
(405) 962-7819 office
(405) 245-4411 mobile