“This is a complicated solution to a simple problem. The simple problem is gerrymandering, and the complicated solution is creating multiple firewalls to prevent the influence of partisan politics from corrupting the redistricting process.”

-Andy Moore, executive director of People Not Politicians speaking about the group’s redistricting ballot initiative. [NonDoc]

“Every dollar the legislature is willing to allocate to its constitutional obligation to fund public education is one step closer to reversing the regressive trend that has kept Oklahoma at the bottom nationwide when it comes to public education.”

-Nancy Garber with the Cherokee County Democrats speaking about the state education department’s FY2021 budget request. [Tahlequah Daily Press]

“We are here to send a mandate that we are ready for Oklahomans to decide this issue at the ballot box.”

– Amber England, Yes on 802 campaign manager, speaking about turning in the largest number of signatures for an initiative petition in state history. [The Oklahoman]

“We have made great strides in teacher pay and must now continue our investment in classrooms and student support. This budget request will help us reach the goals outlined in our eight-year strategic plan, Oklahoma Edge.”

-State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, speaking about the education department’s upcoming budget request. [Tulsa World]

“We must focus on reducing all barriers to individuals seeking health care, such as poverty, stigma, and lack of health insurance.”

-Lori Tremmel, National Association of County and City Health Officials CEO, speaking about a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. [Tahlequah Daily Press

“It’s bittersweet seeing other states make advances while we are still sitting back with our hands tied. But really, what we hope will change here is the state and federal government living up to their end of the treaties and honoring those treaties. (Medicaid) expansion will remove the financial burden from the tribes to the proper place — the federal government.”

– Tyler Dougherty, a program coordinator for the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board, which helps advocate for Native American tribes. [The Oklahoman]

“It’s really, what does the governor want to do? I think he’s really the one that we’re waiting to see what his plan is going to be and if that’s going to include Medicaid expansion in some way, shape or form.”

-Rep. Trish Ranson, D-Stillwater, discussing Gov. Stitt’s forthcoming health care proposal.  [The Oklahoman]

“Anytime you can prove to me that charter schools are doing a better job than traditional public schools, I’d be supportive. There’s just no indication I have seen that confirms that.” 

-State Sen. Ron Sharp (R-Shawnee), a retired schoolteacher who taught in Shawnee Public Schools for 38 years. [Journal Record 🔒]

“When you bring in these federal dollars into the state, by spending one dollar of state money, you bring nine more federal dollars in, suddenly these people who couldn’t afford to pay for their coverage are able to pay for that, and that benefits other parts of the state budget.” 

– Adam Searing, Associate Professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy’s Center for Children and Families speaking about leveraging federal Medicaid dollars at the state level. [StateImpact Oklahoma]

“It’s important that we pay legislators enough to be able to do their jobs, and we want public office to be open to all Oklahomans — not only the rich. Just like teaching isn’t a seasonal job, neither is the work of our legislators…All public servants must be able to afford to do their jobs.”

– Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, on the recently announced pay raise for state legislators [NonDoc]