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Quotes of the Day

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August 7,

“The message is huge. Officers know all they have to do is grieve it, arbitrate it and get their jobs back.”

– Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty, who said he loses about 80 percent of arbitration cases, on being forced to rehire officers that have been fired for misconduct after arbitration (Source)

August 4,

“Some of those people will not be getting meals, period. I challenge any legislator who wishes to come to our office to choose who doesn’t get a meal.”

– Don Hudman, executive director of Areawide Aging Agency, which offers in-home services to seniors in four counties, including meal delivery. Hudman’s agency will likely lose $300,000 due to state budget cuts in the current fiscal year (Source)

August 3,

“As with any organization or business, if you’re trying to attract talent and you want to attract more people to a profession, there’s got to be an incentive there. At this point, I’m not so sure there’s a lot of incentives for young people, or people who are looking to change careers. I’m not sure there’s a big incentive to give them the education at this point.”

– Dewey Public Schools Superintendent Vince Vincent, on the difficulty attracting and retaining teachers (Source)

July 28,

“This feels like the new normal. The need is great and it’s not getting better.”

– State Superintendent of Schools Joy Hofmeister. The State Board of Education has so far approved 850 emergency teaching certifications for the upcoming school year, compared to 381 at this time last year (Source)

July 27,

“This is the largest single-site wind project in the United States. With a large-scale project at this site, we are tapping into one of the best wind resources in the country.”

– Venita McCellon-Allen, Southwestern Electric Power Co. president and chief operating officer, on a joint $4.5 billion renewable energy project in the Panhandle with PSO (Source)

July 26,

“I’m not trying to throw the Legislature under the bus, but somebody has got to make a move here… or there’s going to be a serious event. We’re just trying to be proactive in thinking a different way.”

– Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh, explaining the agency’s plan to release additional nonviolent inmates to community supervision programs in order to ease overcrowding in the state’s prisons (Source)

July 25,

“Teacher Needs School Supplies! Anything Helps.”

– From a sign held by Teresa Danks, a third-grade teacher in Tulsa, while she stood at a highway intersection collecting money for supplies for her classroom. Danks said she spends around $2,000 of her $35,000 salary on classroom supplies each year (Source)

July 24,

“Beyond the bad publicity, Oklahoma’s outrageous habit of throwing away salvageable lives is just plain bad. If the mere morality of the issue doesn’t convince you, consider these arguments: It runs up the state’s corrections budget, robs money from education, overcrowds our prisons, makes it harder to hold onto dangerous criminals, shrinks the work force, continues the cycle of poverty across generations, and establishes the precedent that Oklahoma treats medical problems with incarceration. It also makes us no safer.”

– Wayne Green of the Tulsa World discussing Oklahoma’s high female incarceration rate – the highest in the nation. (Source)

July 21,

“One thing you are going to see this year is the overcrowding of classrooms. We’ve had teachers tell us they would rather have smaller classrooms and forget the pay raise, that’s how bad it is. And, really, with the overcrowding, we are setting kids up for failure, especially in the year when they are learning to read. Classes aren’t even built to hold that many students. I wonder how many fire codes we’re breaking.”

– Ginger Tinney, Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation Executive Director, speaking about the consequences of a lack of adequate funding for common education in Oklahoma (Source)

July 20,

“We know that every dollar in the budget means something to somebody – whether it’s access to medical care, access to food, access to education – these dollars are meaningful. The people should have the opportunity, without the interference of political games; to tell lawmakers what they believe is a priority for the state.”

– Rep. Monroe Nichols (D-Tulsa) on the importance of public comment should the legislature have to enter a special session this summer to fix the budget (Source)

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