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20 Apr
0

STATEMENT: Legislation Focused on Political Points Not Oklahomans

Communications & Public Affairs
April 20, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
(405)962-7674 [email protected]

STATEMENT: Legislation Focused on Political Points Not Oklahomans

OKLAHOMA CITY — House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, released the following statement after House Resolution 1026 passed the House.

The legislation creates special rules that allow the House to hear and pass legislation past legislative deadlines and exempt certain bills from rules that ensure transparency. The rules were created to pass legislation in response to federal executive orders.

“Today, the House showed that winning an argument with the Senate is worth sacrificing transparency and House precedence that has most likely existed since statehood,” Virgin said. “The most disheartening thing about this bad governance is that it isn’t for anything that will actually help Oklahomans. The legislation passed today will not help Oklahomans catch up on their bills. It doesn’t increase access to health care. We didn’t spend our time today creating ‘special rules’ to pass the Earned Income Tax Credit for working families across Oklahoma.

“We created these new rules to score political points against the Biden Administration. Our actions today were shameful, and a complete waste of taxpayer resources. When our constituents desperately need us to act on the real issues facing Oklahomans, House Republicans are focused on politics.”

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15 Apr
0

Oklahoma Democratic Party Denounces Republican’s Attempt to Intimidate Lawful Protesters

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
[email protected]

Oklahoma Democratic Party Denounces Republican’s Attempt to Intimidate Lawful Protesters

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, APRIL 15, 2021 – House Bill 1674 is nothing more than an anti-freedom of speech endeavor introduced by Republicans to silence Oklahomans’ constitutional rights to free speech and the right to assemble. Veiled as a measure to “protect” motorists who “unintentionally” injure or kill protesters, HB1674 is just another Republican scare tactic to limit the peoples’ right to be heard, especially communities of color.

“This bill doesn’t protect. This bill is an overt threat. It was designed to embolden those who disagree with others’ right to be heard out of fear, shut down peaceful assembly, and will only encourage the further use of vehicles to inflict harm,” declared Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

“House Bill 1674 goes so far as even to penalize organizations that “conspire” with protesters and absolve drivers for harming those peacefully protesting.

“Republicans will stop at nothing to intimidate and scare marginalized communities, and we cannot stand by as these rights are torn away. If HB1674 is signed into law, it will open the door for more measures like it in the future,” continued Andrews.

“While the country as a whole has come far since the 1960s, Oklahoma Republicans are determined to set Oklahomans—and our economy—back half a century. Instead of enacting punitive unconstitutional bills, lawmakers and law enforcement could do more by working together and engaging with community leaders to understand better the oppressive systemic biases over which protesters are so deeply concerned,” concluded Andrews.

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

14 Apr
0

House Dems Call for Accountability as SB895 Heads to Committee

Communications & Public Affairs
April 14, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
(405)962-7674 [email protected]

House Dems Call for Accountability as SB895 Heads to Committee

OKLAHOMA CITY — House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, and members of the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus released the following statements today in response to Senate Bill 895 being scheduled to be heard this afternoon in the House Appropriation and Budget Committee.

SB895 authorizes a state agency to choose a public or certified public accountant to conduct its annual audit.

House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman:

“Given the state auditor’s recent findings regarding Epic, it is appalling that we are entertaining legislation that would make it harder for taxpayers to track how their tax dollars are being spent. Our citizens deserve transparency and accountability, and the Legislature is further isolating them from those principles with this bill. ”

Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa:

“Letting agencies choose their own auditors is a recipe for disaster. Who watches the watchmen? How will we know that taxpayer dollars are being used responsibly? We elect a state auditor to be a guardian of the people’s interest. It is wrong to allow agencies to choose their own oversight, and we would fail in our duty to the people if we were to let this happen. Oklahomans deserve a clean accounting of how all public dollars are spent, not a bill written by special interests to advance their own agenda.”

Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Del City:

“Why should we allow agencies to go shopping for a favorable auditor? What kind of accountability is that? Every four years the people of Oklahoma decide who they want to audit state agencies when they elect the state auditor and inspector. The people trust the state auditor to be the state’s watchdog for agency spending and accountability and so should the Legislature.”

Rep. Trish Ranson, D-Stillwater:

“What concerns me most is that we currently have a system for audits that works. Within that system is a mechanism for rebuttal. It has worked for some time and will continue to work for years to come. This bill does nothing to improve accountability. Instead, it undermines the authority of the state auditor, an official elected by the citizens of our great state.”

-END-

Senate Bill 895

13 Apr
0

Oklahoma Democratic Party Pleased on Bipartisan Passing of Ida’s Law

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
[email protected]

Oklahoma Democratic Party Pleased on Bipartisan Passing of Ida’s Law

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, APRIL 13, 2021 – The Oklahoma Democratic Party is pleased with the overwhelming passing of Ida’s Law, where the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation will create an Office of Liaison to oversee cases of missing and murdered indigenous people. The Office of Liaison will work alongside tribal communities and consist of an experienced missing persons specialist.

Ida’s Law, introduced by Representative Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City, is named in honor of Ida Beard, a Cheyenne and Arapaho citizen missing since 2015.

“It’s encouraging to see the coordinated efforts by lawmakers to work together on behalf of missing and murdered indigenous people,” declared Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.

“Oklahoma has the highest rate of missing or murdered Native American women in the country, and I am pleased that our legislators understood the need for a better response to missing Native Americans,” Andrews continued.

“Oklahoma Lawmakers have done their job. Ida’s Law is now headed to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. The Oklahoma Democratic Party hopes that Governor Stitt will do the right thing and immediately, without any delay, sign this bill into law,” concluded Andrews.

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

12 Apr
0

DNC on the Start of Ramadan

DNC on the Start of Ramadan

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison released the following statement on the start of Ramadan:

“As Muslims across the world begin their observance of Ramadan, commemorating the revelation of the Quran through prayer, fasting, and peaceful reflection, we all have an opportunity to draw upon our inner strength.

“There are more than three million Muslims in the United States today, and many of them have been dedicated to serving their communities in these tough times as health care workers, first responders, educators, and much more. Today and every day, Democrats will continue to stand in solidarity with our country’s diverse Muslim American community. Ramadan Mubarak!”

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