Communications & Public Affairs
May 18, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
(405) 962-7674 firstname.lastname@example.org
House Democrats Respond to Special Session Announcement
OKLAHOMA CITY – House Democrats released the following statements today after legislative Republicans called a special session to move the approving authority for American Rescue Plan funds from the executive branch to the Legislature.
House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman:
“House Democrats have consistently warned against giving the executive branch excessive authority. Today, legislative Republicans listened and are now calling for a special session to reclaim Governor Stitt’s unchecked authority.
“Throughout the last month, media reports have shown that the Stitt Administration is not up to the task of ensuring taxpayer money is spent properly. It is apparent that the governor’s own safeguards have not been effective enough to ensure his cabinet members and appointees do their job to protect tax dollars.
“I appreciate Speaker McCall and Senate Pro Tem Treat for acknowledging the shortcomings of the governor and committing to a transparent, open process to disburse these funds.”
Rep. Cyndi Munson, D-OKC:
“My colleagues and I on the Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding have worked diligently for months to properly distribute ARPA dollars to communities across our state for education, health care, broadband, and our economy. Our communities have suffered so much since the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s important that we get these funds distributed as soon as possible.”
“The Governor’s inability and unwillingness to distribute ARPA dollars has been worrisome, so I am grateful legislative leaders have decided to take action. As members of the Legislature, we take seriously the responsibility to appropriate funds to best serve Oklahomans.”
Rep. Monroe Nichols, D-Tulsa:
“Today, the Legislature in a bipartisan fashion declared Governor Kevin Stitt can’t be trusted and is unfit to lead Oklahoma during this crucial time in our state’s history. Scandals, disinformation, disfunction, and incompetence led to this historic action by the Legislature.
“I hope all Oklahomans are taking note of the fact that the Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate have sent a clear signal that Governor Stitt shouldn’t be responsible for Oklahoma tax dollars.”
Rep. Collin Walke, D-OKC:
“I’m glad we’ve pulled the ARPA funds from the control of the most incompetent governor and administration in Oklahoma history – and that’s saying something!”