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Quotes of the Day

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December 7,

“Because what do you do when you cut taxes more? You cut spending. You cut education expenditures. Those have immediate, final demand spending effects in the economy. Well, what about all these benefits from low taxes? Well, obviously, it’s not doing very much if you’re lagging in growth.”

-OSU economist Dan Rickman, explaining that deep income tax cuts have hurt Kansas’ economic growth and urging Oklahoma not to continue doing the same. Rickman projects 0.4 percent growth in Oklahoma, compared to 1 percent nationally (Source)

December 6,

“Now, we’re sending the police out as a front-line mental health team with no training and no resources, and no support backup, and we expect them to do the job. A lot of officers resent the hell out of that. A lot of officers still say this is not a situation we should be handling. And I tell those officers, ‘Bull.’ Our job, square one, is safety and security in the community.”

– Steve Lyons, a retired Houston police officer and a board member for National Alliance of Mental Illness Tulsa, on the role of police as first responders to mental health crises (Source)

December 5,

“Imagine that you are a parent of two and you’ve just received your monthly paycheck. After you pay your bills to keep your family housed and fed, you have $268.78 left, or just under $3 per person per day until your next paycheck. What will you do if you get a flat tire? What if you have to cover the co-pay on an emergency room visit? While you’re figuring that out, do you know which bills you can pay late without interruption of service or penalty fees?”

-Shawna Mott-Wright, vice president of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association, writing about the precarious finances of Oklahoma classroom teachers (Source).

November 28,

“We’re not a listing ship. We are a sinking ship.”

-Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh,after the state Board of Corrections approved a nearly $1.65 billion budget request – triple this year’s appropriation – for the next state fiscal year, with much of the funds going to updating aging facilities and constructing new ones (Source)

November 23,

“Oklahomans voted to reclassify certain nonviolent offenses — like simple drug possession and low-level property offenses — as misdemeanors, freeing up tens of millions of dollars a year to reinvest in more drug and mental health treatment. But the story’s ending is not written yet. The real work has just started. Nothing will change if the improvements voters endorsed are not properly implemented and expanded. As exciting as Tuesday’s victory was, successful implementation will be an even bigger lift than succeeding at the polls.”

-Kris Steele, Chairman of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform, on the passage of SQ 780 and SQ 781 and the coming challenge of implementing the new laws (Source). OK Policy’s fact sheet on the two state questions is available here.

November 22,

“When new potential employers are raising concerns about our commitment to public education and using it as a reason for not accepting positions here, our local businesses and industries suffer greatly. We all know that perception is reality. Even though we know we have wonderful school districts, with great teachers serving our students every single day, the negative publicity we are receiving now beyond Oklahoma does not help us. It makes the problem even worse.”

-Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce President Wes Smithwick (Source)

November 21,

“One young man, a junior in his third year at one of our universities, came to me and said, ‘After I’ve done all this work, if they decide not to renew my DACA, I’ll be out of a degree? Those are the types of kids that are living in fear now.”

-Raul Font, president of the Latino Community Development Agency in Oklahoma City, speaking about immigrant students who were brought to the U.S. as children and have been allowed to stay under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which is threatened by President-elect Trump (Source).

November 18,

“It will give us a stronger voice. If we don’t have the percentages, at least we can bind together as a women’s caucus and really push some of those issues.”

-Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang), on a bipartisan women’s caucus that she and other female lawmakers plan to form to work on issues like domestic violence, equal pay, substance abuse, and women’s incarceration. Women will hold 19 seats in the Oklahoma Legislature in 2017, down from 22 this year (Source)

November 17,

“The people of Oklahoma have decided that we can no longer afford to fill our prisons with individuals suffering from addiction. That strategy has been far too costly in dollars and in lives.”

-Gov. Mary Fallin, announcing her intention to continue pursuing criminal justice reform after the success of SQ 780 and SQ 781 (Source)

November 16,

“I do think that legislative bodies are reactionary and usually get it right once they don’t have any other choice. And so we’ve seen what happened with the state question with the teacher pay raise. It’s going to bounce back to the Legislature to do something about it.”

-Oklahoma State Treasurer Ken Miller (Source)

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