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Quotes of the Day

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July 23,
2013

They may have a hard time convincing Oklahomans of the urgency of fixing a problem they created … at significant expense to the taxpayer rather than taking the time and putting it on the agenda for next year if it needs to be addressed.

-Oklahoma Policy Institute Director David Blatt, on talk of convening a special session to pass legislation supported by business interests to restrict civil lawsuits, after a previous attempt was thrown out by the Oklahoma Supreme Court (Source: http://bit.ly/1620Dwd).

July 22,
2013

It would be a third or a quarter of my monthly income just to have insurance. It’s almost like a luxury item.

-Cassie Clark, who works part-time as an administrative assistant at an Oklahoma City dance and fitness studio. Clark is among Oklahomans making below the poverty line who could fall into a “coverage crater” where they are ineligible for help to purchase insurance because Oklahoma has not accepted federal health care funds (Source: http://bit.ly/160jMfT).

July 19,
2013

If enough people say this is a direction we should go, I think that’s what it takes. How many people it will take calling? I honestly don’t know.

-Rep. Arthur Hulbert, R-Fort Gibson, who said it will take public pressure to convince lawmakers to accept federal funds to save Insure Oklahoma and help the uninsured (Source: http://bit.ly/15R8k8A)

July 18,
2013

The same activity is taxed at roughly 11.5 percent in North Dakota. Guess what? They’re drilling like mad in North Dakota!

-Ken Levit, executive director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, on why energy companies don’t need a tax break that drops the tax rate on horizontal wells to 1 percent in Oklahoma (Source: http://bit.ly/15KB1Sb)

July 17,
2013

You didn’t need a law degree to know that this bill was unconstitutional when it was passed.

-Rep. Jerry McPeak (D-Warner), arguing against asking taxpayers to pay for a special legislative session to address a 2009 lawsuit reform law that the Oklahoma Supreme Court recently ruled as unconstitutional “logrolling”

July 16,
2013

Middle-class consumer demand is a much greater driver of business expansion than wealth at the top.  The basic reasoning is simple: a successful business will only hire more workers and increase production when people are able to buy what the business wants to sell. That demand won’t continue if the average American can’t obtain the skills, opportunities and, ultimately, good wages to keep up this ‘virtuous cycle.’

 -Gene Perry, policy analyst with Oklahoma Policy Institute

July 15,
2013

There were nights when I was captain when I walked all night long, all night by myself. There was no one in the control centers. They kept saying we had to economize.

-Berl Goff, former prison captain for The GEO Group, Inc., which oversees some 2,500 inmates in Oklahoma and is the 2nd largest for-profit private prison company in the U.S.

July 12,
2013

There’s two things about the Texas Model. First, there’s this kind of arrogant refusal to distinguish what God has done for you and what you’ve done for yourself. So, we’re awash in oil and gas, which is nothing we did–God did that–and it’s powered our economy. We have a coast and one of the biggest ports in the world, Houston. And we’ve got interstate highways that run north and south, east and west. And we’ve got great weather. So it’s really geography and geology. The other piece of it is the arrogance of refusing to look at our very high poverty rate, our very high percentage of low-wage jobs, our top rate of uninsured medically in the country, and say that this is a miracle.

-Scott McCown, executive director of Center for Public Policy Priorities, a think tank based in Austin (Source: http://bit.ly/15AAIvp)

July 11,
2013

Any fiscally responsible policymaker needs to seriously consider at what level government should incentivize something that is now standard practice. It’s not responsible for government to give money away as an incentive if no incentive is needed.

-Oklahoma Finance Director Preston Doerflinger, who said Oklahoma should end a tax break for horizontal drilling that has grown to cost hundreds of millions (Source: http://bit.ly/15iU8T8)

July 10,
2013

The first part of the title is substantive law — reducing your income tax liability. The second section of the title is creating a fund and providing for an appropriation. Here we have two subject matters as quickly as you can use your eyes to look at the title.

-Attorney Jerry Fent, arguing before a state Supreme Court referee on why the income tax cut/Capitol repairs bill violates the single-subject rule in Oklahoma’s Constitution (Source: http://bit.ly/15w5V2N).