Blog

17 Jan
0

Lawmaker Wants to Set Higher Bar for State Superintendent

Oklahoma House of Representatives

Media Division

January 17, 2013

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: State Rep. Curtis McDaniel

Office: (405) 557-7363

 

Lawmaker Wants to Set Higher Bar for State Superintendent

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Curtis McDaniel today filed legislation to ensure candidates for state superintendent are at least as qualified as individual school district superintendents.

House Bill 1501 would require candidates for state superintendent to have completed a standard master’s degree and a program in education administration approved by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation with an emphasis on district-level leadership skills, which are equivalent to the educational requirements for a superintendent of schools.

“I do not know how it came to pass that Oklahoma requires district superintendents throughout the state to have a higher level of professional training than the state superintendent, but I aim to fix this glaring oversight,” said McDaniel, D-Smithville. “As a school administrator for over 16 years, I am aware of the importance of qualified professionals in education. It stands to reason that we require highly qualified educators at every level.”

McDaniel also announced a second bill that would localize the high school diploma appeals process. Currently, the appeals process is administered by the state board of education.

House Bill 1502 would put the appeals process in the hands of individual school districts.

“Local control has long been an objective of the Oklahoma Legislature and I think this bill gives us an opportunity to tweak a process that has turned into a headache for the state board while supporting the ability of local communities to make their own education decisions,” McDaniel said.

Today is the last day for filing legislation for the 2013 session, which convenes Feb. 4, 2013.

 

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16 Jan
0

Petition for Medicaid Expansion

If you haven’t…
Please sign our Petition to be DELIVERED to Governor Mary Fallin on Tuesday, February 5th at 12:00pm at this link:
And if possible attend the Rally for Medicaid Expansion for Oklahoma– on Tuesday, February 5th at 12:00pm on the north steps of the State Capitol.  Sign up to Join in Solidarity at this FB link: http://www.facebook.com/events/254719717991638/

 

Petition for Oklahoma to Accept Federal Funding to Expand Medicaid

 

Petition Statement
Whereas, many adults in Oklahoma—including persons with disabilities, the chronically ill, and the elderly—currently have inadequate, or no healthcare coverage, because they are currently ineligible for Medicaid, and
Whereas Oklahoma has the opportunity to expand its existing Medicaid program to provide healthcare for an estimated 130,000–190,000 additional individuals, by accepting this federal funding, and
Whereas expanding the state’s Medicaid program to provide healthcare for these individuals would improve their health, and the quality of their lives,and would also provide substantial economic benefits to Oklahoma, by saving the state millions of dollars in uncompensated healthcare costs, and would create thousands of new high-paying jobs in healthcare, and related fields, which would generate significant new tax revenues for the state of Oklahoma.In Consideration thereof, We, the under-signed citizens of Oklahoma, respectfully request that the Honorable Mary Fallin, Governor of the State of Oklahoma, accept these federal funds being offered in accordance with the Affordable Care Act, to expand the state’s Medicaid Program.

______________________________

Thank You,
Susan McCann
Member, Coalition for Medicaid Expansion (CFME)

15 Jan
0

Pinnell Defends Fallin’s Hypocrisy

For Immediate Release
January 15, 2013
Contact: Trav Robertson
405.427.3366

 PINNELL DEFENDS FALLIN’S HYPOCRISY

Continues Hypocrisy with Wasteful Spending 

Oklahoma City– Governor Mary Fallin has hired the firm of former Republican Governor of Utah Mike Leavitt for $500,000 to assess Oklahoma’s health care options. “Fallin keeps the good ol’ boy system alive by hiring one of her cronies, who isn’t even from Oklahoma, with federal money,” said Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins.

Governor Fallin, who serves as the vice chair for the National Governors Association (NGA), has flip flopped and now supports using federal dollars. Fallin previously refused to work with President Obama’s administration who had offered Oklahoma $54 million to set up a health insurance exchange through the Affordable Care Act. Apparently, the use of federal money to line the pockets of her political friends is a good idea, but using it to help provide health care for Oklahomans is not.

Oklahoma Republican Party Chair Matt Pinnell in a party-line response stated that, “We want an Oklahoma based plan. We want a plan that works for Oklahoma. What the federal government is trying to do will not work for the state of Oklahoma. It’s unaffordable and irresponsible.”

Chairman Collins responds, “Fallin calls for Oklahoma plan but hires out-of-state consultants? And when given the opportunity to have Oklahoma control our health insurance exchange she turns down the funding and hands the responsibility to the Federal Government? Talk about unaffordable and irresponsible!”

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11 Jan
0

Governor Fallin Authorizes Spending ½ Million on Partisan Contracts For One of Her Old Friends

STATE OF OKLAHOMA
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2013

Rep. Richard Morrissette, District 92
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
State Capitol – Room 543
Contact: Jacklyn Brink-Rosen
(405) 557-7404

Governor Fallin Authorizes Spending ½ Million on Partisan Contracts
For One of Her Old Friends

(Oklahoma City, OK) Governor Mary Fallin placed a directive to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to have that agency spend one-half million dollars on a contract to study options on how to provide health care for those without health insurance.

“Did I miss the memo?” queried state Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-OKC)

“After originally accepting federal money, last year, Governor Fallin flip-flopped and turned back $54 million dollars from the federal government – $ to Oklahoma for Oklahomans – to set up our own health care exchange…now, through her directive, the OHCA board unanimously approved this one-half million dollar private contract to spend money we don’t have to pay for a private contract given to an out of state company known as Leavitt Partners, owned by the family of ex- Gov. Mike Leavitt, Republican of Utah.”

“Let’s see, h-m-m. Does political cronyism play into any of this? The OHCA has the requisite staff and expertise to evaluate the situation. That’s what they do! But, no-o-o…the party of ‘less government spending’ and the party of ‘let’s keep the government out of our lives’ would rather spend Oklahoma tax payer’s monies to privatize functions we already pay for. So, what we are doing is giving our hard earned tax payer monies to political crony friends. And, to beat all, they’re not even Oklahoma cronies!

“Earlier in the week, Governor Fallin was in Washington begging the federal government not to be hard on states because of the fiscal crisis. So, with one side of our mouth, we bash the federal government about the excesses, yet, with the other side, we ask for money…this is called hypocrisy!” concluded Morrissette.

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11 Jan
0

Letter to the Editor: Fallin’s Hypocrisy

Governor Fallin was in Washington yesterday, speaking in her official capacity as vice-chair of the National Governors Association. Here’s a letter to the editor of The Oklahoman from ODP vice-chair, Dana Orwig, regarding the governor’s comments:

To the Editor:

According to coverage in The Oklahoman (“Fallin says state should be deficit-reduction partners”, January, 10,2013), Governor Mary Fallin, in her role as vice-chair of the National Governors Association, is in Washington to express her concern about the budget-cutting decisions that are under discussion in Congress. The Governor on Wednesday urged Congress and President Obama to “treat states as partners in the deficit-reduction effort.”

How hypocritical of Governor Fallin to argue for partnering with the federal government, while refusing to do so in her own state! Her decision to turn down federal money designated for increasing Medicaid coverage essentially means that the tax dollars of Oklahomans will go to help other states provide additional health care to their people, while thousands of Oklahomans will remain uninsured.

In announcing her decision to accept the federal funds for Medicaid coverage (on the same day when Governor Fallin was lobbying for state/federal partnerships), the Republican Governor of New Mexico, Susanna Martinez, said, “it comes down to what is best for New Mexicans.” I’m sure I’m not the only Oklahoman who hopes that Governor Fallin will soon be moved by a similar desire to do what is best for the people of her state.

Dana Orwig,
Oklahoma City, OK