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Quotes of the Day

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August 21,

“I think the fundamental question that people are going to have to ask themselves, and specifically sitting members of the legislature – but the citizens too – is what type of state do we want to have? And are we going to invest in the things that are going to make our state better, more competitive, and be able to provide for the most vulnerable among us?”

– Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger talking about the need to modernize Oklahoma’s tax code and broaden our tax base (Source)

August 18,

“They can fix the ill-conceived revenue measures that have been struck down or will be struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. They can raise revenue. They can make our children a priority and fund education properly. Then and only then will our efforts cease.”

– Oklahoma City Public Schools board member Mark Mann, at a press conference on Thursday announcing the district’s threat to sue the state Legislature over education funding (Source)

August 17,

“I don’t think this initiative is the first choice of anyone at this table. But we’ve waited and waited and waited.”

– Oklahoma City Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid, organizer of a petition drive for a temporary 0.5 percent income tax increase to raise about $50 million per year to supplement a teacher pay raise (Source)

August 16,

“This was about survival. And once I got stuck in it, I couldn’t get out of it. The only way I could get out of that cycle, the cycle of predatory lending, was to finally declare bankruptcy. We should not set up scenarios where somebody can have a financial train wreck in their life.” 

– Elise Robillard, a long-term substitute teacher in Norman, on the effects of turning to payday loans. Robillard says she took out between 90 and 110 short-term loans, many to pay off previous debt. About 1 in 8 Oklahoma adults has taken out a payday loan, the highest usage rate in the nation (Source)


August 15,

“I encourage all voters who subscribe to the philosophy of loving your neighbors as yourselves, to call your legislators and Gov. Fallin today. Tell them you want a bill passed putting to the vote of the people, a state question allowing legislation lowering and raising revenue, to pass by a simple majority! Nothing more than a simple majority.”

– Former Oklahoma state senator Ed Long, arguing for the repeal of the three-quarters majority for revenue-raising measures in the Oklahoma Legislature (Source)

August 14,

“It would be devastating for rural Oklahoma, because services in rural areas are hard to come by anyway. Everybody will be affected. The police will be affected. The emergency rooms will be affected. It’s like a tsunami.”

– Charles Danley, CEO of Grand Lake Mental Health Center in Nowata, on the impact of the cuts that will be necessary if the legislature does not restore the funding that will be lost as a result of the court decision finding the cigarette fee unconstitutional (Source)

August 11,

“We could see some serious damage to our health care providers and clients before the Legislature is able to respond. Agencies will have to make real decisions based on this ruling.”

– Oklahoma Policy Institute executive director David Blatt on the state Supreme Court’s ruling that a $215 million cigarette “fee” is unconstitutional (Source). The Save Our State coalition, which includes OK Policy, has called on Governor Fallin to convene a special session to fix the budget

August 10,

“It will be hard to find a funding source to replicate that. $1.5m a year, for this community, is a huge investment. Where do you find $1.5m?”

– Youth Services of Tulsa executive director David Grewe, on the Trump administration’s decision to cut short teen pregnancy prevention grant funds to eighty-one grantees across the US, including four in Oklahoma (Source)

August 9,

“It looks to me like a whole lot of parsing is going on. Sort of a rose is a rose is a rose, and if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s a duck.”

– Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger, questioning the Legislature’s contention that several last-minute fee bills were not intended as revenue-raising measures (Source)

August 8,

“I live with my primary caregivers, my aging parents, and I qualify for the in-home, self-directed state Medicaid waiver programs. A personal service aide visits daily to assist with meals, a lift needed for toileting, light housekeeping, bathing, dressing and transportation to appointments. It would cost $80,000 a year for me to live in a nursing home but only $30,000 a year for a caregiver to come to my house. The program saves the state money by keeping me in my home.”

 -Christin Haun, an Oklahoman with a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder, in a letter to legislators criticizing cuts to Medicaid (Source)
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