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Quotes of the Day

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September 13,
2013

For a lot of these kids, there is no safety net.

-Jessica Mitchell, Youth Services of Tulsa, on youth who are homeless and/or ‘aged-out’ of the foster care system (Source: http://bit.ly/17UBwwc).

September 12,
2013

Anything that challenges the fundamental right to access the court is going to be challenged and should be challenged. You shouldn’t have to go out and hire an expert before you ever even access the courts. That’s a fundamental right.

-Tulsa attorney Glenn Beustring, on a law requiring plaintiffs to obtain a “certificate of merit” from an expert before their case can be heard in court. The Oklahoma Supreme Court has twice thrown this law out as unconstitutional, but lawmakers approved it again during the recently ended special session (Source: http://bit.ly/17S2SmG).

September 11,
2013

If that’s a scenario that plays out, are we prepared to stand up so that the recommendations in the Leavitt Report can be implemented? If Congress decides, ‘We’re not going to increase primary care, but focus on preventative care,’ do we have to resources to do that? If we have several scenarios, I think we’ll be able to have a plan to put into action, or commingle several of them. The hard part is not knowing.

-Bruce Dart, director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department (Source: http://bit.ly/18QmMgc)

September 10,
2013

Locals are wary of investing in new digs for inmates. On a broader scale, lawmakers are unlikely to embrace significant corrections reform. The stage is set for serious violence at state prisons and a federal takeover of some local jails.

-The Oklahoman editorial board, on the severe overcrowding and unsafe conditions in Oklahoma’s jails and prisons (Source: http://bit.ly/17NGAT6).

September 9,
2013

You see, ‘merit pay’ isn’t as easy as it sounds. How does one determine the merit of a teacher? Do we use standardized tests? Not all subjects and grades are tested. Is the kindergarten teacher who wipes tears and soothes fears less deserving than the AP physics teacher? Is the teacher in a self-contained autism classroom able to show on a test what she accomplishes with her students all day? Is the drama teacher who spends hours away from her own children and empties her own house to stage a play with no budget any less deserving than the calculus teacher?

-Patti Ferguson-Palmer, vice president of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association (Source: http://bit.ly/18IJS8s)

September 6,
2013

The reality is that the vast majority of Oklahoma’s poorest families work hard, but they do not earn a living wage. Public assistance programs are not subsidizing people who choose not to work; they’re subsidizing companies that don’t pay workers enough to live on.

-OK Policy analyst Gene Perry, responding to an Oklahoman editorial (Source: http://bit.ly/18vZE6H)

September 5,
2013

We really view the teen pregnancy prevention program as a drop out prevention program. This is really going to help students stay in school, finish school, go onto college, get good jobs, make Tulsa a better place to live.

-Kim Schutz, Director of the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, on Tulsa Public Schools’ decision to expand a comprehensive sex education program for 7th, 9th, and 11th graders (Source: http://bit.ly/17BAQfb). 

September 3,
2013

The shocking thing is, every time these things come up, we say give us a list of frivolous lawsuits or a list of suits outside the bounds of reasonableness. Inevitably, it is some example from out of the state. There is no litigation crisis.

-Tulsa attorney Guy Fortney, on a special session beginning today to restore tort reform laws that the Oklahoma Supreme Court threw out as unconstitutional (Source: http://bit.ly/17wJMT7)

August 30,
2013

Oh, boy.

-Paul Bronson, Oklahoma City’s assistant public works director, on seeing oil in the Oklahoma River the morning after lightning struck a tank battery spilling 385 barrels of oil and saltwater (Source: http://bit.ly/17ogpSW)

August 28,
2013

We know that we haven’t been able to fund our schools adequately, and our corrections systems, child welfare and services for the developmentally disabled. So when you have a tax break in place that is costing the state such substantial revenue, it has real consequences.

-OK Policy Director David Blatt, on why Oklahoma needs to rein in skyrocketing tax breaks for horizontal drilling which totaled $148 million this year (Source: http://n.pr/17jwB7X).