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25 May
0

RELEASE: DNC Chair Tom Perez on CBO Analysis

Perez on CBO Score

WASHINGTON – DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office released their analysis of Trumpcare, the Republican health care bill:

“Trump and House Republicans threw themselves a party for passing this bill, and now we know exactly what they were celebrating: 23 million Americans potentially losing their care—including 14 million who would lose it thanks to their more than $800 billion cut to Medicaid. They were celebrating higher costs for older Americans and people with serious illnesses. They were celebrating higher profits for insurance companies and health plans without critical benefits like maternity care and life-saving opioid addiction treatment. But most of all, they were celebrating a big fat tax cut for millionaires and billionaires like Trump. This bill is a cruel betrayal of the people they were elected to serve. Democrats believe health care is a right for all, and we will continue to fight every Republican assault on hardworking families.”

If Trumpcare becomes law:

  • Older Americans will pay more.
  • Individuals with pre-existing conditions will be subject to faulty and expensive high-risk pools.
  • Insurance companies will be able institute lifetime limits on coverage, even on those with chronic illnesses.
  • $834 billion in Medicaid cuts included in AHCA that would heavily impact children, the poor and those with disabilities.
  • Planned Parenthood will be defunded, making it more difficult for millions of women to access critical health services.
  • Wealthy Americans receive a huge tax cut.
  • States can opt out of Obamacare’s essential benefits clause, which include:
    • Outpatient care
    • Trips to the emergency room
    • Hospitalization
    • Maternity and newborn care
    • Mental health services and addiction treatment
    • Prescription drugs
    • Rehabilitative services and devices
    • Laboratory services
    • Preventive services, wellness services, and chronic disease treatment
    • Pediatric services
  • States can opt out of Obamacare’s “community rating” provision that prevents insurers from charging higher rates to sick people.

23 May
0

RELEASE: By Rep. Young – Governor Signs Civil Rights Complaint Bill

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

Governor signs civil rights complaint bill

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Mary Fallin Friday signed into law a measure protecting complainants who file with the Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights Enforcement.

House Bill 1478 by Rep. George Young requires the Office of Civil Rights Enforcement to redact the name of a person who files a complaint from records that are forwarded to the arresting officer’s employer and from any annual reports that are generated.

“As state representatives and senators, we should work hard to make sure people feel comfortable lodging complaints, and I’m beyond grateful that the 56th Legislature was able to see the value of this measure in protecting our most vulnerable,” said Young, D-Oklahoma City. “The anonymity this legislation provides for complainants should help root out civil rights violations across the state, and I’m confident Oklahoma will be better for it.”

The law takes effect Nov. 1, 2017.

Young represents House District 99, which includes portions of Oklahoma County.

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22 May
0

RELEASE: The Oklahoma Democratic Party Elects a New Chair & State Officers

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2017

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

The Oklahoma Democratic Party Elects a New Chair & State Officers

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Democratic Party elected new leadership this past weekend, choosing Anna Langthorn to serve as Chair for the next two years.

Anna, a campaign professional, and native of Oklahoma City is the youngest Democratic Party Chair in Oklahoma history. Her running mate, Brian Jones, a Choctaw citizen originally from Talihina, will be her Vice-Chair. Dave Ratcliff, a longtime union organizer from Tulsa, was reelected Party Secretary, while Rachael Hunsucker, an accountant from Coweta, was elected Treasurer. Sheri Dickerson of Oklahoma City, Marguerite Leon McGuffin of Oklahoma City, Jeff Hughes of Norman, and Ali Canada of Tulsa were also elected to serve on the State Central Committee as Affirmative Action members.

“I believe Oklahoma Democrats have a strong opportunity to create change in the 2017 and 2018 elections,” said Anna. “And given the last six and a half years of disastrous Republican policy failures, I believe we have more than an opportunity to do this–we have a moral obligation.”

“To accomplish this,” Anna went on, “we have to outwork, out-organize, and out-inspire the opposition. I’m committed to building relationships within all parts of the party, in all 77 counties of the state, and with every Democratic elected official in Oklahoma.”

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

22 May
0

Anna Langthorn – New ODP Chair

Meet Our New Party Chair, Anna Langthorn

In her first party leadership role, Anna served as the president of the Young Democrats of Oklahoma for two years. During her tenure, she led young Democrats to champion a ballot initiative in Bartlesville, knock more than 20,000 doors as part of a GOTV effort for Kathy Taylor, and take the largest delegation in the United States to the National Young Democrats of America convention in 2013.

Anna has put her passion for Democratic politics into action, knocking doors everywhere from Oklahoma City to Tulsa and Tahlequah to McLoud. She has worked for a diverse group of candidates including Native, Latina, Asian-American, black, transgender and gay candidates–making sure everyone has the chance to have their voice heard in the political process. She has taken charge of recruiting candidates and managing races at all levels, from municipal to state races. Anna has also worked on a number of Cherokee Nation tribal council races, in addition to her role as Deputy Campaign Manager for the successful re-election of Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. Regarded by her peers as an expert in the field, Anna brings a successful history of fundraising, targeting, and recruiting. A native Oklahoman and life-long Democrat, Anna hopes to use her campaign proficiency and drive to build a more resilient and effective program that encourages engagement statewide and ultimately helps elect more Democrats.

19 May
0

RELEASE: State Budget Negotiations Are Certainly a Class Warfare Issue

State Budget Negotiations Are Certainly a Class Warfare Issue, Such as Suspending Sales Tax ‘Holiday’

By State Rep. Brian Renegar, DVM

OKLAHOMA CITY (19 May 2017) – We are waiting anxiously to see whether the tortoise catches up with the hare! It is a hurry-up-and-wait game.

Usually during the last two weeks of the legislative session, starting on Monday, we go from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day and typically debate and vote on 30 to 40 bills each day.

During the first four days of this week, the House of Representatives considered 22 bills (18 House bills and 4 Senate bills) plus three resolutions (two House resolutions and one Senate concurrent resolution).

Appropriation bills must be disposed of no later than May 21, because the state Constitution decrees that no revenue measures can be considered during the last five days of the legislative session. In accordance with another constitutional mandate, the Legislature must adjourn its regular session by no later than 5 p.m. May 26.

We finally considered House Bill 2414 by House Appropriations & Budget Chair Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang), which was an all-encompassing revenue bill. This bill included a $1.50 cigarette tax, six cents a gallon gasoline tax, a wind energy tax and, finally, a gross production tax that reduced, from 36 months down to 18 months, the period of time in which a new oil or gas well would be taxed at the low 2% rate. That proposal would not bring any money into our state for 18 months from the moment when a well starts producing.

If HB 2414 had passed, it would have brought in $340 million in taxes from working Oklahomans and zero from oil and gas companies. This bill failed to get 76 votes needed for passage; the final vote was 51-46.

Folks, I have enjoyed keeping you informed about what is happening at the State Capitol. As you know, I do not sugarcoat my comments and I am all about what’s best for the working class, school children, veterans and seniors. I do understand the importance of incentives to create jobs and I can see when we overdo these incentives.

Regardless of the headlines, I want you to know that this budget struggle is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue, or an urban vs. rural issue; it is a class warfare issue: a debate about whether corporations pay their fair share or whether working Oklahomans must pay for the massive state budget hole.

Personally, I don’t feel that our budget is in this billion-dollar hole because an Oklahoma working mom is not paying enough tax on gasoline or my constituents are not paying enough for cigarettes. Instead, our budget hole is due to the tax cuts to the wealthy ($1.2 billion) and corporate giveaways. The Legislature has tried to balance the state budget by cutting all agencies by at least 25%; some, like colleges/universities, have been cut almost 40%. (That’s one reason why tuition has skyrocketed)! Sadly, the most powerful person at the Capitol is not the Governor, the Speaker of the House or the Senate President Pro Tem; it’s Harold Hamm, the CEO of Continental Oil.

Here are some of the ideas that have been presented by the majority party of both the House and Senate:

  • HB 2364: If you die and your car passes to your child or spouse, they would have to pay a new excise tax on it even though you already paid an excise tax when you first bought the car. Same applies if you give your car to a family member or just want to add another family name to the title. This would generate around $16 million.
  • HB 2404: Currently the State itself and all of its agencies and subdivisions are exempt from paying sales tax. HB 2404 would eliminate that exemption. So under this bill, when EOSC, the Department of Human Services, the district judge, or McAlester Public Schools buys a case of paper or cleaning supplies, they would have to pay sales tax on it. Obviously you see we would generate more tax dollars that way. Then the state would have more money to allocate to those entities, so they could afford to pay this proposed new tax.

Well, actually not quite; you see, this would only generate the 4.5% sales tax that goes to the State of Oklahoma, but they would also have to pay all the city and county taxes on top of the state portion of the tax. So all we really would be doing is churning money, to the detriment of the state and its subdivisions, but to the benefit of cities and counties.

However, a non-appropriated agency (an agency that raises 100% of its own funding) such as the Wildlife Department would get the double whammy: no money from the state and have to pay all of the sales tax. This would produce about $106 million each year, but leadership would pat itself on the back for raising so much new tax money.

  • How about Senate Bill 862? Since we can’t touch the wealthiest Oklahomans because the legislative leadership is so beholden to them, we would take it out on working mothers who are struggling to survive. This bill – which is a “live round” waiting to be added to the legislative calendar and brought up for floor votes in the House and Senate – would eliminate (for the next three years) the sales tax “holiday” that many families use right before school starts to buy their kids new clothes and classroom supplies – to the tune of $7.4 million. My sympathies to all the clothing stores in our area, and all the nearby Texas stores send their sincere appreciation to the Oklahoma Legislature.

(Representative Renegar is a Democrat from McAlester.)

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1804507139830443&id=100008135227880

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

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