State legislators fail to understand that the lack of competitive pay continues to erode the ability to hire and retain qualified workers. Department of Human Services employees have gone seven years without a raise, yet another study is needed to see if a raise is warranted? Today’s workload is greater than at any time in the past. Caseloads for child protective services are unmanageable and increasing as more workers leave. More and more children are placed on a backlog status, forcing workers to pick what fire to put out while leaving others exposed to possible danger.

-Oklahoma child welfare worker Jeff Hodge

 It’s pretty unusual in my state to go through a year without a tornado disaster, and it’s pretty unusual to go through a year without a drought disaster. Each time, we’ve come and asked for help from the federal government; each time, we received that help. Undoubtedly, we’ll be doing that again in the near future. It would be hypocritical, in my view, to fail to do for people in the affected region what I and, I know, many others have routinely asked for our own regions.

-Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole, explaining in January why he would support a $50 billion Hurricane Sandy aid package. Cole was one of just 49 House Republicans (out of 228) who supported the aid.