10 Aug

House Democratic Caucus Statement in Response to Oklahoma Court Ruling

Contact: Rep. Scott Inman
Phone: (405) 557-7370
House Democratic Caucus Releases Statement in Response to Oklahoma Court Ruling

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Senate Bill 845 is unconstitutional.

SB845 was projected to raise more than $200 million for the current state budget by charging cigarette wholesalers a $1.50 per pack tax. During the legislative session, however, House Democrats warned Republicans that passing the unconstitutional legislation would have a detrimental impact on our state budget and state agencies. The measure passed the House with a partisan vote of 51 to 43.

The proposed revenue from the tax affects 7 percent of the appropriated budget to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, 10 percent of the appropriated budget to the Department of Human Services, and 23 percent of the appropriated budget to the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

The court’s ruling will likely prompt a special session, costing the state an additional $30,000 per day, and requiring lawmakers to return to the capitol to fix the now incomplete budget.

“In order to appease special interests, Republicans made a decision to ignore the House Democratic Caucus, Oklahoma citizens and the Oklahoma Constitution,” said Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa. “As a result of that decision, we are now facing a $200 million hole in our current budget. It is time for the Republican Leadership to stop playing political games and to start working on real solutions to fund state government. As we have been all year, the Democratic Caucus stands ready to negotiate a long-term solution to fix Oklahoma’s funding crisis.”

Rep. Collin Walke, D- Oklahoma City, a freshman Legislator said that he was elected to work for every day Oklahomans, and reiterated, “The Democratic Caucus will not support a solution that depends on regressive taxes while wealthy individuals and corporations continue to receive government handouts through tax credits, exemptions, and a decade of irresponsible tax cuts. It is time for the Republican majority to realize that an investment in the people of Oklahoma is an investment in the future of our state and it is absolutely imperative that the cycle of crisis created by negligent budgeting practices end.”

House Democrats held a public budget forum in the House Chamber on August 3rd, inviting all members of the House to listen to statements regarding the importance of these now threatened core services and to begin the work to reach an agreement in the event any of the revenue raising measures were struck down.

After the Forum, Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman stated, “We were sent to the Capitol to act in the best interest of the people, to provide core services for those most in need, to fund our schools, and build infrastructure for growth. The Democratic Caucus released a compromise budget plan that incorporated stable revenue to not only fill the budget shortfall, but also began the process of restoring cuts that have taken place over the last ten years. We put out a call to ask the Majority Caucus to come to [the] table and prepare for Special Session. Not a single member of the Republican Caucus showed up.”

The House Democratic Caucus is urging the Governor to call a Special Session immediately. Several members are requesting legislation be drafted reflecting proposals contained in the Restoring Oklahoma Plan, released in March of this year, with the intention to maximize the time used in a Special Session to not only restore cuts tied to the cigarette tax but also to put Oklahoma on a better path forward.


10 Aug

DNC Response to Skyrocketing Health Care Premiums

DNC on Trump Pushing Healthcare Premiums to Skyrocket

In response to a new study that found President Trump’s actions are causing double-digit premium increases on individual insurances policies in 2018, DNC deputy communications director Adrienne Watson released the following statement:

“While Trump spends an extended vacation at his luxury golf course, millions of Americans potentially face skyrocketing premium increases in 2018 thanks to his sabotage of our healthcare system. This ‘Trump premium tax’ has made healthcare less accessible and affordable for millions.

“Instead of breaking his promise to make healthcare accessible to all, Trump should work with Democrats to build upon the progress made under the Affordable Care Act.”

Associated Press: Study: Trump actions trigger health premium hikes for 2018

10 Aug

RELEASE: Special Session Around the Corner

For Immediate Release
August 10, 2017

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party

Special Session Around the Corner

In light of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s cigarette “tax” fee ruling, the Oklahoma Democratic Party insists that Governor Fallin call for a special session to address the budget hole crisis that was never resolved earlier this year.

Republicans have failed Oklahomans. The Republican-Super-Majority had a chance to work together with Democrats on developing sustainable recurring revenue during session, but they instead chose to knowingly push through unconstitutional bills, wasting tax payer’s time and money.

Oklahomans shouldn’t have to pay for Republican failures. It’s time for Republicans to step up and prove they care about Oklahomans and do their job. It’s time for Republicans to work with Democrats on a long-term sustaining recurring revenue plan.

For more information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party, visit the party website at, or call party headquarters at 405-427-3366.

09 Aug

Trump Lacks the Temperament to be Commander-in-Chief

Tom Perez Responds to Trump’s Comments on North Korea

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement on the Trump administration’s response to growing tensions with North Korea:

“By recklessly live-tweeting threats of nuclear war from his private golf course, Donald Trump has shown once again that he lacks the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief. This loose talk of war undermines America’s credibility and endangers our national security. The serious threat posed by North Korea will not be solved with 140-character fits of bluster, but with reasoned dialogue, consistent diplomacy, and coordination with our allies.”


08 Aug

Trump Taking Advantage of Foreign Workers

DNC on Trump Taking Advantage of Foreign Workers

In response to reports that President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club briefly advertises jobs to American workers after applying to hire foreign workers, DNC spokesperson Daniel Wessel released the following statement:

“Donald Trump hires foreign workers, not because he can’t find any American workers, but because he can pay them less. Trump taking advantage of cheaper foreign labor, while American workers go unemployed, is the very example of the anti-worker practices that have cost U.S. jobs for decades. Trump says we need to ‘hire American’ and has promised to create jobs, but it is clear that American workers cannot trust him when he won’t even give them a fair shot at employment at his own properties.”

Washington Post: ‘Apply by fax’: Before it can hire foreign workers, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club advertises at home — briefly