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Quotes of the Day

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“People mellow as they age. Somebody who committed an armed robbery when he was 22 is much less likely to commit an armed robbery when he’s 62. The purpose of the prison system is to restrain people who pose a threat. If the threat is no longer there, there’s very little reason to keep these inmates behind bars.”

-Andrew Speno, Oklahoma director for Right on Crime, speaking about a bill that would create a new parole process for inmates over the age of 60 [Source].

“Everybody’s got a plan, but nobody’s got any movement on any of the plans.”

-Assistant Majority Floor Leader Mark McBride, on the lack of consensus on a revenue package to provide a teacher pay raise (Source)

“I think any Republican or Democrat who thinks not getting a deal done is a win is wrong. I believe we get a deal done and we all succeed or we don’t and we all fail. The number one thing I hear in my district is: ‘Fix it.'”

– House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, urging incumbent legislators to support a budget deal that raises revenues in order to improve their chances of being reelected (Source)

“There’s not a big difference between a college professor’s pay and a K-12 teacher. It ends up being the same problem as the teacher pay. We’ve cut and cut and cut. At some point we’re going to have to invest in education — pre-K through college.”

Senator Greg McCortney (R-Ada) on the low starting pay for professors at two-year colleges – not much higher than the salaries of K-12 teachers (Source)

“There was no notice to anybody. Now they have their own jail and they need to fill it. I feel like they’re basically punishing poverty.”

–  Tulsa Defense Attorney Stefanie Sinclair, speaking on a new procedure that she says will push low-level offenders and people who can’t afford to pay fines into Tulsa’s new jail [Source].

“All that HB 1270 would do is make a contractor wealthy checking what has already been checked and possibly disqualifying qualified Medicaid applicants on the basis of false positive results.”

-The Tulsa World editorial board, calling for Governor Fallin to veto a bill that would require Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency to hire a private contractor to make eligibility checks that are already being handled efficiently [Source].

“To all of my teachers past and present: As a senior with my graduation, state contest, and other activities on the line because of this walkout, you have my full support. I would rather suffer now, so that the future generations will not have to. You are not walking out on us. You are walking out for us.”

– Cache High School Senior Madison Marshall, in a Facebook post expressing her support for a planned teacher walkout after a visit to the State Capitol on Monday (Source)

“It’s just a matter of how much can pass out of the House.”

– Senate Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat, predicting that the $10,000 teacher pay raise over 3 years demanded by the Oklahoma Education Association could pass the Senate (Source)

“State employees are tired of being ignored and are angry because state leaders have failed to do their job. They’ve failed again to provide a pay raise for state employees and they’ve failed to sufficiently fund core services. A state employee’s take-home pay shrinks every year and they are fed up with lawmakers who won’t listen. That’s why we’re looking at work stoppages. Just like teachers, state employees are fed up and ready for action.”

– Sterling Zearley, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Public Employees Association, on why state employees are considering joining teachers in a walkout (Source)

“I know as a member of the House that five minutes prior to session at the beginning of a stressful day, when we know there will be contentiousness on the floor, that time of reflection, that time of learning is a great opportunity to hear from persons of all different backgrounds and faiths as we prepare for the difficult work that we do. To exclude people from that process is just wrong. I stand with this group happily and look forward to moving past this discriminatory process to a time where we’ll return to having persons of all faiths speak to us and help us learn from them.”

– Representative Jason Dunnington, speaking on the recent alterations to the House Chaplain program that restricts legislators from nominating chaplains that are not of the same faith tradition as the sponsoring representative. (Source)

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