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08 Feb
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The Senate Has Failed Public Education and Our Children’s’ Future

For Immediate Release
February 8, 2017

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
405-427-3366
Oklahoma Democratic Party

The Senate Has Failed Public Education and Our Children’s’ Future

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party is deeply disappointed that the U.S. Senate placed partisan politics over our children’s education by confirming an unqualified, incompetent, and anti-public education proponent to lead the U.S. Education Department.

Betsy Devos’s confirmation is a slap in the face to parents and students that attend public schools throughout the United States, but particularly here in Oklahoma. Not one of our Senators stood up for Oklahoma public school children by denouncing Devos’s inexperience in public education knowing that our state is facing a public education crisis and is one of the lowest in the nation for teacher’s pay, and per pupil spending.

How can Oklahomans have confidence in our Senators’ interests to represent our constituents if they are focused on playing for-profit-politics with our children’s future? The Senate has failed public education by confirming a secretary more interested in diverting public funds into private education and who doesn’t understand the needs and challenges that our public school teachers and students face daily.

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The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366.

07 Feb
0

RELEASE: Okla. Car Buyers Should Have 3-Day ‘Cooling Off’ Period, Legislator Believes

Okla. Car Buyers Should Have 3-Day ‘Cooling Off’ Period, Legislator Believes

OKLAHOMA CITY (7 February 2017) – A state legislator thinks Oklahoma’s “lemon law” that focuses on mechanical defects isn’t enough when it comes to buying a car, truck or van. What the state also needs, he believes, is a “cooling off” provision.

House Bill 1473 by state Rep. George E. Young, Sr., would require every contract for the sale of a motor vehicle to contain a “buyer’s remorse” provision that would allow a customer to cancel the contract within three days and return the vehicle to the seller “if the purchaser is not satisfied.”

Young, D-Oklahoma City, concedes his proposal will face an uphill fight but contends it’s needed. “I was surprised to see that no statue on the books covered this. It was brought to me by a constituent and I feel it is a very just correction to our laws.”

HB 1473 was assigned Tuesday to the House Committee on the Judiciary – Civil and Environmental.

The federal Truth in Lending Act accords a three-day right of rescission to any homeowner refinancing an existing mortgage, or to someone securing a home equity loan. The Federal Trade Commission offers consumers a three-day rescission period when they purchase products or services at a place other than the seller’s primary place of business. Sales of new residential windows, for example, are subject to a three-day “cooling off” requirement.

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MIKE W. RAY
Media Director, Democratic Caucus
Oklahoma House of Representatives
(405) 962-7819 office
(405) 245-4411 mobile

07 Feb
0

DNC Statement: Voters Will Hold Heller, Flake, GOP Accountable for DeVos Confirmation

DNC: Voters Will Hold Heller, Flake, GOP Accountable for DeVos Confirmation

WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans voted today to confirm Betsy DeVos as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education. DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile released the following statement:

“President Trump’s swamp got a new billionaire today. Millions of teachers, parents and students could not have made their opposition to Betsy Devos’s confirmation any clearer – they do not want someone whose only education experience is dismantling public schools. A Republican senator like Dean Heller or Jeff Flake could have cast the single vote needed to halt this confirmation. Instead, their constituents in states like Nevada and Arizona will cast their votes next year to kick them out of office for selling out their state’s public school children.”

07 Feb
0

RELEASE: Interest on ‘Payday Loans’ Would be Slashed In HB 1404 Filed by Rep. Mickey Dollens

Interest on ‘Payday Loans’ Would be Slashed In HB 1404 Filed by Rep. Mickey Dollens

OKLAHOMA CITY (7 February 2017) – “Predatory” lenders imposing “unfair and abusive” loan terms on “people who feel as though they have nowhere to turn” resulted in a bill by a first-term legislator to slash the interest rate on so-called “payday loans”.

A lender “shall not charge an annual percentage rate greater than 60%” for any loan issued “pursuant to the Deferred Deposit Lending Act,” decrees House Bill 1404 by state Rep. Mickey Dollens. Currently the ceiling on a payday loan is 390%, the south Oklahoma City Democrat said.

“Again and again, while I was knocking doors on the campaign trail” last year, “I would hear about the need for better regulation on payday loans,” Dollens said. Lowering the APR “would help prevent vulnerable borrowers from drowning in a cycle of debt,” he said.

According to the Oak View Law Group of Los Altos, CA, the maximum amount of a payday loan in Oklahoma is $500, for a duration of 12 to 45 days. The fees and finance charges are $15 for every $100 (up to $300) plus $10 on every $100 advanced above $300. The finance charge on a 14-day $100 loan is $15, and the APR on a 14-day $100 loan is 390%.

The proposed ceiling of 60% “would allow small-business owners to pay their bills without imposing devastatingly oppressive interest rates on vulnerable borrowers,” Dollens said.

Payday loan companies collected more than $52 million in fees and interest in Oklahoma in 2014, Dollens said. “That’s a lot of money going into just a few pockets,” he said. “Not only that, but these lenders have been shown to target young people, immigrants who have come into our state to pursue ‘the American dream’, and minority populations. In addition, they target our military personnel, which is disgraceful.”

The state Department of Consumer Credit, which regulates deferred deposit lenders (companies that extend what are commonly referred to as payday loans), reported that 944,712 DDL loans totaling almost $392 million were made in this state in 2014 (the latest year for which such data is available).

“We need to explore long-term solutions – such as micro-lending and providing a living wage – so that families who turn to these lenders can have other options to fulfill their day-to-day needs,” Dollens said.

HB 1404 was assigned Tuesday to the House Committee on Banking, Financial Services and Pensions.

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MIKE W. RAY
Media Director, Democratic Caucus
Oklahoma House of Representatives
(405) 962-7819 office
(405) 245-4411 mobile

06 Feb
0

Fallin Wants a $1.1 Billion Tax Increase on The Middle-Class and Working Families

For Immediate Release
February 6, 2017

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
405-427-3366
Oklahoma Democratic Party

Fallin Wants a $1.1 Billion Tax Increase on The Middle-Class and Working Families

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party is dismayed that it took a billion-dollar revenue failure for Governor Fallin to recognize that we have a revenue problem, not a spending problem. Today she admitted that we need new revenue streams so that we can fund services, education, health care and public safety.

Fallin’s response to generating new revenue, however, falls short with burdensome taxes on the middle-class and working families in the form of $1.1 billion in new taxes on Oklahomans that can least afford it.

Representative Inman said in response to today’s address, “…while our caucus wants to find new revenues, we fundamentally disagree with the idea that shifting the tax burden from the wealthiest of Oklahomans to the poorest of Oklahomans [and] to middle-class families isn’t the way to provide prosperity and growth in Oklahoma.”

It’s time for us to push back. Fallin has refused to address and fix the systemic tax cuts and credits that have to lead us to where we are today.

Fallin is interested in teacher pay raises, criminal justice reform, and public safety but once again, she has failed to establish how we will fund these initiatives. On the one hand, she proposes eliminating the grocery sales tax, a cut that Democrats have been in favor of for years while raising the fuel tax and eliminating the corporate income tax.  As Inman states, “[This] is not a fiscally responsible way to fund government.”

The Oklahoma Policy Institute states that Oklahoma needs to end the loopholes and create a tax system that works for families, “…policies like rolling back the cuts to Oklahoma’s Earned Income Tax Credit, restoring a higher income tax rate for very high incomes, and ending the capital gains tax break,“ would better stabilize revenues.

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The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366

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