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12 Feb
0

HB 3782 Advances for Vote in House

The Oklahoma Democratic Party is grateful for the efforts of the Children, Youth and Family Committee. The Committee thoughtfully considered and is advancing HB 3782 to a full vote of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. By outlawing the destructive, debunked so-called “conversion therapy” for anyone under 18-years-old, this has the potential to save countless lives. We thank all Oklahoma Democrats who contacted legislators encouraging them to do the right thing. We especially thank Representative Jason Dunnington for having the courage to introduce HB 3782.

11 Feb
0

DNC on Trump Politicizing the DOJ

DNC on Trump Politicizing the DOJ

Hours after Trump complained about federal prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone, the Department of Justice reversed the decision of its own prosecutors and lowered the recommended prison time. DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement in response:

“Donald Trump has politicized DOJ and completely corrupted our justice system. By interfering in DOJ’s recommendation, Trump has once again made clear that he thinks he and his friends are above the law. This is a disgrace to the department I served for more than a decade and an insult to all Americans who deserve a justice system that is actually just.

“As a former DOJ prosecutor, I stand with the courageous prosecutors who chose to resign or withdraw instead of going along with Trump and Barr’s lawlessness. The American people do too, and they will hold Trump and every complicit Republican accountable.”

11 Feb
0

Brand New State Agenda Offers Lifeline to Rural Oklahoma

Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 11, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
(405) 962-7674 wes.carter@okhouse.gov

Brand New State Agenda Offers Lifeline to Rural Oklahoma

By Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman)

The House Democratic Caucus unveiled a future for Oklahoma this past week. Through dramatic changes to our criminal justice system, education system, health care system, and the state’s economy, the House Democratic Caucus put together a plan that invests not in banks, corporations, or wealthy individuals who are already doing well but in everyday people. Our Brand New State agenda is a commitment to Oklahomans who have been left behind by their state government.

For more than a decade, for no reason other than politics, rural Oklahoma has been ravaged not by a failing economy but by a failing state government. Oklahoma taxpayers have sent millions of dollars in taxes to the federal government, subsidizing health care in states like California and Massachusetts, while hospitals throughout Oklahoma close their doors. By accepting the proven Medicaid expansion that has been adopted and implemented successfully in 36 states, the Brand New State agenda puts a billion dollars into Oklahoma’s health care system at no additional cost to Oklahoma taxpayers.

While hospitals across Oklahoma closed and reduced services, Oklahoma’s workforce, specifically low and middle-wage earners, were called on to pick up the slack for a loss of state revenue due to tax cuts and credits for high-earning individuals and corporations. While wealthier Oklahomans benefited from the removal of income brackets, working Oklahomans suffered from the reduction of the Earned Income Tax Credit. While corporations benefited from a low minimum wage, Oklahomans making $50,000 a year paid twice the amount in taxes as a percentage of their income as those at the top. By calling for a higher minimum wage, restoring the EITC and providing state retirees with a cost of living adjustment, the Brand New State agenda puts money back in the pockets of Oklahoma’s workers and retirees.

Unfortunately, the economy and health care are not the only policy areas that have been affected by the inaction of state government. This year, Governor Stitt, who was against the teacher walkout for education in 2018 and the revenue-raising package that gave teachers a pay raise, proposed a budget that increases state funding for public schools by $12 million and private schools by $25 million. This is theft. Our public schools are being robbed of public monies that should be helping schools across the state reduce class sizes and provide a better educational environment for our students. This redistribution of revenue from public schools to private schools is an assault on our public education community and rural communities that rely on the viability of public schools. The Brand New State agenda is the first agenda to protect rural communities and public schools by calling for Oklahoma to lead the region in funding for education.

If there is a bright spot in our state government, it is that there is a willingness by many Republicans to work with Democrats on the issue of criminal justice reform. Through both legislation and the initiative petition process, Oklahoma has made great strides in reducing our incarceration rate, but the work is not yet done. Through increased access to mental health services and policy changes that put people ahead of punitive justice, the Brand New State agenda continues our state’s efforts to create a fair and just criminal justice system that focuses on public safety and common sense rather than retribution.

I love Oklahoma. I love the people, I love Oklahoma football, but I don’t love the way our state treats people who don’t have a lot of money in the bank. The House Democratic Caucus created this agenda because we are tired of seeing people across the state and entire communities suffer while those who have influence through money flourish. It is time for a different approach. It’s time for a Brand New State.

To learn more, please visit www.brandnewstateok.com.

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10 Feb
0

Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus Announces 2020 Agenda

Communications & Public Affairs
February 10, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
(405) 962-7674 wes.carter@okhouse.gov

Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus Announces 2020 Agenda

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus will once again advocate for its Brand New State agenda that was released before the 2019 session, but 2020’s version will contain more specifics on how Oklahoma can generate better outcomes in areas of health care, criminal justice, education, and the economy. The agenda was announced at a press conference Monday morning.

“Last year, we proposed an aggressive agenda that focused on trying things in a different way in order to get different results,” said Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman). “For the last decade, Oklahomans have had a government focused on limiting services while wealthy Oklahomans and corporations have benefited from record tax cuts and credits. It is time to try something new. By investing in Oklahomans, we can unlock potential in our citizens that today is far from being realized. The Brand New State isn’t just about marketing our state. It is about actually changing outcomes and the lives of Oklahomans for the better.”

The Brand New State agenda is divided into four areas of policy: criminal justice reform, education, the economy, and health care. Each area has specific actions the legislature can take to improve the lives of Oklahomans involved in those areas.

“Each month during the 2020 session, we are going to focus on one of these areas of government,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Cyndi Munson (D-OKC). “It doesn’t take much research into our state to realize that the outcomes we are seeing in these areas are not good enough. Our agenda is designed to change that through bold initiatives that put empathy and equality ahead of politics.”

The Brand New State agenda is the most aggressive legislative package introduced for rural Oklahoma in modern history.

“This agenda keeps rural hospitals open, keeps rural schools competitive, and makes rural communities safer,” said House Minority Floor Leader David Perryman (D-Chickasha). “Rural Oklahoma has been hemorrhaging services for a decade. A Brand New State would be the largest economic stimulus for rural Oklahoma in my lifetime.”

Anyone wanting to read more about the Brand New State package is encouraged to visit www.brandnewstateok.com.

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10 Feb
0

DNC on Trump’s 2021 Budget Proposal

DNC on Trump’s 2021 Budget Proposal

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement on Trump’s 2021 budget proposal:

“Budgets are moral documents, and this one is morally bankrupt. Once again, Trump is breaking his promises by proposing massive cuts to Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security programs. He’s going after critical funding for education and SNAP benefits while prioritizing funding for his unnecessary border wall and putting our national security at risk with massive cuts to resources for international aid and diplomacy. The American people deserve real leadership, not cruelty and chaos. The Trump administration is a broken record; we keep hearing the same tune over and over, and this year is no exception. It’s time for a president who puts the middle class first.”

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