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Quotes of the Day

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June 29,

“If my aid gets taken away, I would be forced into a nursing home and just die.”

– Lori Taylor of Norman, one of nine disability advocates who met with Sen. Lankford’s office on Wednesday to voice their opposition to the Senate Republican health bill, which would deeply cut the Medicaid-funded care many people with disabilities rely on (Source)

June 28,

“In the end, the fact of the matter remains that we have a structural problem in how we budget our state money. We have to fix the structural problems we have and look at our revenue streams.”

–  Gov. Fallin, speaking at a Tulsa Regional Chamber luncheon on Tuesday (Source)

June 27,

“If you ask any family with a (developmentally disabled) child, we’re just doing what we have to do to make life good. We do everything we can, but we can’t do it all. I could not work if (my daughter) didn’t have support. Families will do their part, but they can’t do it all.”

-Wanda Felty, an advocate and parent of a 28-year-old developmentally disabled daughter on the more than 7,500 Oklahomans on a decade-long waiting list for home- and community-based servicess (Source)

June 26,

“Teachers say the reason they leave the profession is that they don’t feel supported. We wouldn’t expect to go to a physician who has no training and no experience and say, ‘You know, here’s somebody who just loves people.’ We’d know that wasn’t best practice, and we wouldn’t stand for that.”

– Oklahoma Superintendent for Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister speaking to the state board of education before they vote on a record number of emergency teacher certifications (Source)

June 23,

“Put me down as a solid undecided.”

– Oklahoma Senator James Lankford on the Senate Republican health care bill unveiled on Thursday. The bill would scale back financial help and consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act while fundamentally restructuring and deeply cutting Medicaid (Source)

June 22,

“When I was a provost at UCO in 2002, about 60 percent of our budget came from state appropriations. This year, it’s at 22 percent. The burden, the responsibility, has been shifted to the student. If they’re young, the student’s family.”

– Don Betz, president of the University of Central Oklahoma (Source)

June 21,

“There are costs and there are trade-offs when we face such a budgetary situation. My concern is that we are risking the future of our state when we underinvest in the education of the next generation, underinvest to the point that we are the very bottom state in both common education and higher education.”

– OU President David Boren, announcing a 5 percent tuition increase as the university deals with further budget cuts (Source)

June 20,

“That is a huge jump. I think that part of it is because we had students that rolled over from last year that were already homeless [and] hopefully, better identification within the schools.”

Kathy Brown, the homeless education coordinator for the Oklahoma City public schools, where the number of identified homeless students jumped from 3,600 in 2016 to more than 5,400 this past year (Source)

June 19,

“I was very disappointed. There is a lot of expense in criminal justice. We spent $1.3 billion this year on prisons, and we are incarcerating so many people – a majority of them non-violent. I couldn’t believe those bills got hung up in committee and it kind of made everybody upset. Those bills could save us tens of millions of dollars in the coming years.”

-Sen. Dewayne Pemberton (R-Muskogee) speaking about the Criminal Justice Reform Task Force bills that did not pass the legislature this year (Source)

June 16,

“It is likely we’ll be back here next spring talking about a crisis. Unless we change our method of governing and leading, that will most likely happen. My hope is legislative leaders get together this fall, create a plan and pass that next February instead of waiting until May.”

– Shawn Hime, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, on education funding in Oklahoma (Source)

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