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Save the Date: Our 2019 State Budget Summit is January 24, 2019. Tickets will go on sale Monday, December 10th. 

Quotes of the Day

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“We performed a more rigorous analysis and controlled for things like local market conditions such as unemployment rate, median income and also hospital characteristics to see if the increased probability of closure in states that did not expand Medicaid remain — and it did.”

-University of Colorado professor Richard Lindrooth, whose study found that the probability of rural hospitals closing increased by more than 81 percent in states that refuse to expand Medicaid [StateImpact Oklahoma]

“For most people who don’t have car insurance, it’s an issue of being able to pay for car insurance. That’s the hold-up.”

-Courtney Cullison, an analyst at Oklahoma Policy Institute, speaking about why the state’s new cameras that will scan license plates to fine uninsured drivers is not likely to reduce the rate of uninsured driving [KGOU]

“Last month, a deserving family declined our assistance because they fear it will cost them their citizenship. With no other option for help, they were evicted at the end of the month. They’re here legally. They’re working toward citizenship. They’re scared. And now they’re about to be homeless.”

-Jeff Jaynes, executive director of Restore Hope Ministries which provides rent-assistance for families at risk of becoming homeless, writing about the Trump administration’s push to deny Green Card to families who receive many kinds of assistance [Tulsa World]

“I think the main moment that made me realize I want to vote…we need to do more for our kids, more for our youth, more for our community.”

-Jamie Nelson, a Pawnee and Choctaw-Navajo who is planning to vote in state elections for the first time this year after previously only voting in tribal elections [KOSU]

“Even as the study on which the editorial board chose to base their editorial shows, expanding Medicaid is good for the economy. We know this because, among other benefits, it creates jobs.”

-Rep. Collin Walke, in response to an Oklahoman Editorial Board column that distorted findings of a study to claim that accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid would hurt the economy [NonDoc]

“This is really a historic moment not just for OSU and the Cherokee Nation but for the United States… I think of the medical school as the stone being thrown in the water; the ripples just aren’t going to stop for a long time.”

-Dr. Kayse Shrum, speaking about a partnership between Oklahoma State University and the Cherokee Nation to open a new medical school with 200 doctors in training in Tahlequah [NewsOn6]

”An ordinance that has the potential to increase negative interactions between young people and law enforcement could be a tragedy in the making… We all know that our beloved city has a long way to go to begin to unravel and resolve centuries of systemic racism, and an ordinance that reinforces racial and socioeconomic disparities is a step in the wrong direction.”

-A letter from Tulsa Public Schools leaders opposing a proposed ordinance by the City of Tulsa that would criminalize truancy with fines and and a new special court [Tulsa World]

“Despite steady progress to continue real criminal justice reform in the state, thousands of Oklahomans remain in prison serving excessive sentences for nonviolent offenses — sentences so long, the law no longer allows them for new convictions.”

-Rev. Shannon Fleck, executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, which is participating in a commutation campaign to reduce some of these sentences [NonDoc]

“Paying teachers more helps by attracting great teachers to work here and retain those we already have. But it’s not enough. A 30-student class with a great teacher will still include students who aren’t getting the attention they need to thrive.”

-Adam Kupetsky, member of the Tulsa World’s Community Advisory Board [Tulsa World]

“We have a tremendous number of lane miles to keep up with. Our individual taxpayers have got to be responsible for more miles of asphalt than the average resident of Boston, the average resident of New York, or any number of other cities. It’s just a cold, hard reality.”

-Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, responding to OKC’s ranking No. 6 in the country among cities for vehicle operating costs as a result of rough roads. [NewsOK]

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