State of Oklahoma
House of Representatives

March 24, 2015

Rep Richard Morrissette, District 92
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
State Capitol – Room 543
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Contact: Jacklyn Brink-Rosen
(405) 557-7404

Amendment to Protect Seniors and the Disabled Killed in Committee
Vulnerable Adult Death and Injury Review Board Defeated 3-3 Split Vote

(Oklahoma City, OK) Half of the voting members present at today’s Long Term Care & Senior Services Committee meeting Chaired by Republican Rep. Jadine Nollan voted to kill a vital missing link in the death and injury investigation process for Oklahoma’s most vulnerable senior and disabled populations.

Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-Oklahoma City)

Rep. Richard Morrissette (D-Oklahoma City)

“The legislature would not pass a bill this session to increase staffing levels in our #1 Worst Nursing Homes and now they won’t even vote to at least provide answers to the families as to why their loved ones were beaten, tortured and died. Vulnerable adults in Oklahoma are being abused at record levels. What is wrong with us? We claim to be law abiding god-fearing people but our state has become a place just too unsafe for children, the elderly and the disabled!” declared Oklahoma City Democrat, Rep. Richard Morrissette, District 92 upon the defeat of his amendment to establish a board similar to the Child Death Review Board.

“Just because people are frail and elderly doesn’t mean we as a culture are free to adopt a mindset of rationalizing away their demise with such callous disregard…to say that these lives are going to end soon and that the nature of their death when suspicious is not of any consequence. I am appalled, APPALLED, that 3 of the members of this committee saw fit to take away this opportunity to establish an independent arm to assist our existing agency bureaucracies that are both overworked and underfunded.”

“Rep. Bobby Cleveland, District 20 (R-Norman) had the courage and compassion to vote for the amendment along with Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, District 78 (D-Tulsa) and Rep. George Young, District 99 (D-OKC) and on behalf of all of our seniors and the disabled, I thank them.” said Morrissette.

Those who voted against the measure were Chairman Jadine Nollan, District 66 (R-Sand Springs), Rep. Chuck Strohm District 69, (R-Jenks) and Rep. Mike Ritze, District 80 (R-Broken Arrow).