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30 Jul
0

DNC on 54th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

DNC on 54th Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement on the 54th anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson signing Medicare and Medicaid into law:

“When Lyndon Johnson advocated for the passage of Medicaid and Medicare, he called for the American people to be ‘spared the darkness of sickness without hope.’ For more than five decades, Medicaid and Medicare have given hope and security to millions of Americans. These programs have helped us build a stronger and healthier nation.

“Republicans fought Medicare and Medicaid at every turn. And they continue to stand in the way of every effort to expand access to quality affordable care. Under Trump they passed a massive tax scam for the wealthy and they’ve threatened to help pay for it by slashing Medicare and Medicaid and ripping health care away from hardworking families.

“Democrats believe health care is a right for all, not a privilege for a wealthy few. That’s why President Obama strengthened Medicaid and Medicare, and expanded coverage through the Affordable Care Act. And that’s why the next Democratic president will continue to stand up for the health care every American deserves.”

23 Jul
0

Fugate Says “Boo!” to OCPA Blog About “Ghost Students”

Communications & Public Affairs
July 23, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Andy Fugate
Phone: (405) 557-7370

Fugate Says “Boo!” to OCPA Blog About “Ghost Students”

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Andy Fugate (D-Del City) issued the following statement in response to a blog on the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs website:

“I do not know what the OSBI’s final report will show or what an audit from the State Auditor will show regarding the allegations made against Epic Charter Schools. I will reserve my judgement for when the investigations are complete and we have a final report.

“That being said, I am disappointed the OCPA is attempting to confuse the public with misleading information when they should be calling for a full accounting and improved transparency,” said Fugate. “In a recent blog, the OCPA claims that districts across this state have ‘ghost students’ due to the state funding formula, and that’s just a blatant misrepresentation of how the state funding formula counts students.

“The formula includes a multi-year count of students to handle yearly fluctuations in district attendance. This is sensible when working with budgetary estimates and is no different than the multi-year calculation the legislature created for GPT contributions to the budget reserve fund created in 2016. Nobody has referred to that as ‘ghost GPT.’ This is just a ridiculous assertion by the OCPA.

“What is alleged with Epic is that they intentionally and aggressively created an environment that created ‘ghost students,’ which allowed them to fraudulently make more money. Money that comes from taxpayers.

“It is more than interesting that an organization like the OCPA, which claims to pride itself on protecting taxpayers, would be so disinterested in finding out if and how this happened.”

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17 Jul
0

ODP Statement on Tribal Gaming Compact Renegotiations

For Immediate Release
July 17, 2019

Media Contact:
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
405-536-2417

ODP Statement on Tribal Gaming Compact Renegotiations

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party Official Statement on the Renegotiation of Tribal Gaming Compacts:

In a July 5, 2019 letter to 35 federally recognized Oklahoma tribes, Governor Kevin Stitt announced his interpretation of the existing tribal-state gaming compacts and their upcoming 2020 expiration. In his letter, Governor Stitt suggests that the tribal-state gaming compacts do not automatically renew and instead must head to negotiation with the State demanding an increase upwards of 15-20% on exclusivity fees paid to the State by Oklahoma Tribes engaged in Class III gaming. The tribes of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association’s understand that the compacts will only head to negotiation if both sides are agreeable to such action. In the event there is no agreement to negotiate, the compacts will automatically renew for another 15-year term.

Over the past 15 years, Oklahoma tribes have paid to the State of Oklahoma over 1.5 billion dollars in exclusivity fees. These fees were supposed to have been earmarked for educational purposes and act as a supplement to educational funding provided by the State. Instead, the Republican-controlled legislature decreased base educational funding and chose to incentivize the oil and gas industry, provide corporate handouts, and remain beholden to special interests. Now, Stitt expects the tribes to make up for these disastrous Republican shortfalls.

The Oklahoma Democratic Party supports the 35 federally recognized tribes and the Oklahoma tribes that play a huge role in our state economy. From the thousands of Oklahomans they employ to the billion-dollar impact on Oklahoma tourism Oklahoma tribes have built casino operations with zero dollars of state support and without the State shouldering an ounce of the financial risk.

If Governor Stitt were truly interested in additional revenue sources, he would support a return to a 7% GPT and hold the Republican-Super-Majority legislation accountable for lack of sustaining revenue for nearly a decade that created our current economic crisis.

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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.

17 Jul
0

Dunnington Selected for Prestigious Aspen Institute Fellowship

Communications & Public Affairs
July 17, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Jason Dunnington
Phone: (405) 557-7396

Dunnington Selected for Prestigious Aspen Institute Fellowship

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Representative Jason Dunnington [D-Oklahoma City] was chosen to participate in the Aspen Institute’s 2019 Rodel Fellowship, a prestigious program that has previously included the likes of Democratic presidential hopefuls Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership program seeks to enhance our democracy by identifying and bringing together the nation’s most promising young political leaders to explore, through study and conversation, the underlying values and principles of western democracy, the relationship between individuals and their community, and the responsibilities of public leadership.

Dunnington is one of 24 elected political figures identified by the program’s leadership as America’s emerging political leaders with reputations for intellect, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to civil dialogue. More than 500 nominations are made each year. The two-year program, which is open to politicians between the ages of 25 and 50, consists of three weekend-long seminars, generally held in Aspen, Colorado.

“We’re thrilled to have Representative Dunnington as part of our program,” former Oklahoma Congressman Mickey Edwards, the fellowship’s director, said Tuesday. “Jason has a great reputation for thoughtful leadership and a willingness to put problem solving ahead of partisanship, which is central to our goal of making government more responsive and effective.”

While the participants in this program are all elected, and therefore political leaders, the Rodel Fellowship is not a political program but an educational and leadership training program based on the belief that by exposing participants to a variety of philosophies, viewpoints, and strategies, we will improve the quality of problem-solving not only within all levels of government, but our communities as well.

“I am incredibly honored to be selected for this leadership program, and to have the opportunity to enhance our democracy through in-depth conversation and thoughtful study,” said Dunnington. “I look forward to learning from my colleagues so that I may continue to best serve the constituents of House District 88 and all citizens of Oklahoma.”

Past Rodel fellows include former candidate for Georgia governor, Stacey Abrams, and former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords. Additionally, Oklahoma has had a number of highly regarded fellows as well: Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, former Speakers of the House TW Shannon and Jeff Hickman and former Senate Minority Leader and President of Southeastern Oklahoma State University Sean Burrage.

“Aspen Rodel is an amazing program that brings leaders even closer to true statesmanship,” Holt said. “In addition to many national political figures who are Rodel alums, the program has had strong Oklahoma participation through the years, in no small thanks to former OKC Congressman Mickey Edwards, the founding director. Congratulations to Jason!”

The class of 2019 includes:

Beth Bernstein, South Carolina State Representative
London Breed, Mayor of San Francisco
Chris Carr, Georgia Attorney General
Melvin Carter, Mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota
Brian Egolf, Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives
Jason Dunnington, Oklahoma State Representative
Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota Lieutenant Governor
Steven Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City
Kate Gallego, Mayor of Phoenix
Jennifer Staubach Gates, Dallas City Council member
Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin State Treasurer
Adam Gregg, Iowa Lieutenant Governor
Cyrus Habib, Washington Lieutenant Governor
Glenn Hegar, Texas State Comptroller
Michael Hough, Maryland State Senator
Tanner Magee, Louisiana State Representative
David Meade, Speaker Pro Tem, Kentucky House of Representatives
John Murante, Nebraska State Treasurer
Jeanette Nuñez, Florida Lieutenant Governor
Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State
Robert Sprague, Ohio State Treasurer
Francis Suarez, Mayor of Miami
Jill Tolles, Nevada Assemblywoman
Jeff Yarbro, Minority Leader of the Tennessee State Senate

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17 Jul
0

STATEMENT: Minority Leader Responds to Epic Investigation

Communications & Public Affairs
July 16, 2019

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

STATEMENT: Minority Leader Responds to Epic Investigation

OKLAHOMA CITY – Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) released the following statement in response to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation launching an investigation of Epic Charter Schools for embezzling millions of taxpayer dollars.

“I am very concerned about the report that Epic Charter Schools has been paying students and their families to enroll so that the school can profit from taxpayer money,” said Minority Leader Emily Virgin. “I am glad to see that the OSBI is taking this matter seriously. If the OSBI shows that these individuals did indeed defraud Oklahoma taxpayers, I would hope that Attorney General Mike Hunter would see past their wealth and their campaign donations and hold them accountable.

“I hope that my colleagues in the House will take these allegations seriously as well. If we have a school that is defrauding the state to this magnitude, at a minimum, it shows a systematic flaw exists in the regulation of online and charter schools in our state. If the OSBI shows this to be true, the House must act to ensure that public funds are safeguarded today and in the future. ”

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