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28 Feb
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Legislation Seeks to Remember Juneteenth

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Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 28, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. John Paul Jordan
Phone: (405) 557-7352

Contact: State Rep. George Young
Phone: (405) 557-7393

Contact: State Sen. Anastasia Pittman
Phone: (405) 521-5531

Legislation Seeks to Remember Juneteenth

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill to modify state curriculum standards has unanimously passed the House Common Education committee with a vote of 11 to 0.

House Bill 3471, authored Rep. John Paul Jordan, requires the U.S. History component of Oklahoma’s social studies curriculum to include information about Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.

“The ending of slavery should be recognized in every community in Oklahoma,” Jordan said. “As President Lincoln stated, ‘If slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong.’ It is important for us as a nation and as a state to remember our mistakes and to celebrate when we correct those mistakes.”

Rep. George Young, the leader of the Oklahoma Black Caucus, added a friendly amendment to the legislation that would make June 19 an official state holiday in recognition of Juneteenth.

“It is quite an honor to be part of this legislation to recognize this historic moment in the journey of this country,” said Young, D-OKC. “It is another step to help the citizens of Oklahoma and our educational community to be able to lift the importance of diversity and the moments when our nation struggled to find a better path. The first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence states: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ It was not factual at that moment in time and the beauty of this nation is that we continue to struggle to make those words true for all citizens. This legislation helps us as a people to see the struggle and to be a reminder of how much work there is still to do.”

The legislation is now ready to be heard on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Once it passes the House, it will then move to the Senate where the bill is being carried by State Sen. Anastasia Pittman.

“I am honored to carry this legislation in the Senate,” Pittman said. “We are moving Oklahoma forward and recognizing that we are celebrating diversity and sharing common ground. We must expand our social studies curriculum, according to §70-11-103.6b, and textbooks to reflect American diversity, to fulfill our obligation to teach diversity, and this is a great opportunity for us to ensure that Oklahoma and American History has value.”

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26 Feb
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Joint Statement as Supreme Court Hears Janus v. AFSCME

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DNC Joint Statement as Supreme Court Hears Janus v. AFSCME

DNC Chair and former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Vice Chair Maria Elena Durazo released the following statement as the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments in the pivotal labor case, Janus v. AFSCME:

“When unions succeed, America succeeds. But for decades, Republicans have been chipping away at workers’ rights, weakening unions, depressing wages, and concentrating wealth at the top. Now, this GOP-sponsored attack on collective bargaining could slam the door on even more hardworking Americans trying to make it into the middle class.

“While we hope that the Supreme Court will make the right decision and side with the public employees of AFSCME, Democrats will never stop fighting for workers’ rights regardless of the outcome of this case. And we will always stand up and speak out against those trying to rig the economy for corporations and the 1%.”

22 Feb
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DNC On FCC’s Publication of Net Neutrality Repeal

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DNC On FCC’s Publication of Net Neutrality Repeal

Today, the FCC published its rules repealing net neutrality. Congress now has 60 legislative days to pass a resolution reversing the repeal. In response, DNC Chief Technology Officer Raffi Krikorian released the following statement:

“The FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality is a deliberate assault on the very idea of a free and open internet. Net neutrality protections ushered in a new era of creativity, civic engagement, and innovation. The FCC’s new rules will roll back years of progress and could leave American families with fewer choices and higher costs. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is in lockstep with President Trump’s anti-consumer and anti-innovation agenda that favors filling the pockets of big telecom corporations over what’s best for the American people.

“Republicans in Congress must take action and join Democrats in rejecting these rules. We need strong guidelines designed to protect budding startups and businesses from large corporations that might want to stamp out their competition. Democrats believe that an open internet is fundamental to free speech, innovation, and a competitive economy. It also gives the marginalized and underrepresented more resources and opportunities to organize and have their voices heard. Over the next 60 days and beyond, we will keep fighting to protect the free and open internet that is so critical to our democracy.”

20 Feb
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DNC on Trump’s Latest Attempt to Undermine the ACA

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DNC on Trump’s Latest Attempt to Undermine the ACA

In response to the Trump administration’s announcement that they are promoting the use of short-term junk insurance plans, DNC spokesperson Daniel Wessel released the following statement:

“This is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to sabotage health care for millions of Americans across the country. By promoting skimpier short-term health plans, Trump will once again undermine the Affordable Care Act, including its requirements to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and could cause premiums to increase for people who rely on the comprehensive plans offered in the ACA marketplace. Instead of continuing to hurt Americans, Trump should join Democrats in working to increase access to affordable health care coverage.”

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19 Feb
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RELEASE: House Democrats Respond to Newest Round of Budget Cuts

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Communications & Public Affairs
January 19, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Jacquelyn Walsh
Phone: (405) 557-7370

House Democrats Respond to Newest Round of Budget Cuts

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Steve Kouplen, on behalf of the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus, has released the following statement on the $44 million worth of budget cuts passed on the House floor Monday:

“It is unconscionable that the Republican leadership in the House has led the state to the point where further cuts to the current year budget are inevitable. Today, the House sent $44 million worth of cuts to be approved by the Senate. We firmly believe that there are still options on the table to bring in a small portion of revenue for this year and put the state on a better path forward beginning the next fiscal year.

The House Democratic Caucus stands ready to commit all 28 of our votes to a bipartisan revenue package that includes the Republican Party’s cigarette and motor fuel taxes — along with our original request to increase the incentive gross production tax to 5 percent that has now garnered support from State Auditor Gary Jones and the Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs. This package, coupled with the Senate passing the itemized deduction cap from 2017, would allow us to close the upcoming budget hole and provide teachers and state employees with a raise. With 100 percent of our caucus supporting, we would only need 48 Republicans, or 66 percent of the caucus, to pass this plan.

As we have mentioned in the past, it seems that the Republican Caucus is more worried about political cover while cutting agencies than actually finding a solution. Otherwise, we would be voting on revenue packages regularly until we find a combination that works.

Our fear is that as the race for the next Speaker of the House continues to heat up, we will continue to see fewer options for revenue and more of the same fiscal policy that has plagued this state for the last decade. Nevertheless, the House Democratic Caucus stands ready to negotiate at any time to prevent budget cuts and provide the revenue necessary for a teacher and state employee pay raise.”

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