Communications & Public Affairs
May 15, 2019

Contact: Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
Phone: (405) 962-7674

Minority Leader Responds to Republican Budget Proposal

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, released the following statement today in response to the Republican budget proposal announced by Gov. Kevin Stitt:

This is what a budget looks like when you decide taxpayer money is better suited to sit in a bank than be invested back into state resources like our children, state employees, and middle and low wage earners. Our state agencies were brutally impacted by Republican cuts over the past decade. This budget fails to make these agencies, including the state department of education, whole.

The Republican budget will now be voted on and passed before lawmakers have a chance to go home, talk to their constituents and receive feedback from the people in their communities. I hope those constituents will ask “why?” After being in session since February, and being promised transparency from day one, why didn’t we allow constituents more time to provide feedback?

In contrast, House Democrats put out the “Brand New State” budget more than two weeks ago. We took transparency to the point of posting a line-by-line budget on

House Democrats presented a budget that restores an Earned Income Tax Credit to more than 200,000 Oklahoma households. We have the only budget that expands Medicaid and increases healthcare coverage to hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans. Our budget is the only budget that invests $90 million into the state’s infrastructure. The “Brand New State” budget is the only budget that provides a $2500 pay raise to state employees so that their salaries are closer to those in the private sector. We have presented the only budget that ends the debtor prison that exists in our court system, and it is still the only budget that fully funds public education in Oklahoma.”