“They can’t be on Medicaid before pregnancy or between pregnancy so any kind of health conditions they may have, they’re not able to access health care at those times. Ensuring a woman is healthy when she’s pregnant then that can improve the outcomes, not only for her, but for her baby, their entire lifespan.”

-Barbara O’Brien, director of the Oklahoma Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative, on why she is calling for expansion of Medicaid during Women’s Health Day at the Capitol [Source: Fox 25]

“The work being done by Special Olympics in Oklahoma, across the nation and globally is life changing, and I strongly support their mission to transform lives through sports. All students can grow and all students can succeed, and Special Olympics is helping to make that happen for students in Oklahoma classrooms every day.”

-State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, responding to a proposal by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos to eliminate $18 million in federal funding to the Special Olympics [Source: KFOR]

“Putting more [money] in the hand of the working poor stimulates the entire economy from the bottom up. People who say small businesses will suffer are wrong. Increased purchasing power of their own workers and all other workers will actually result in a much more prosperous environment in which their small business will benefit disproportionately.”

-Feral Glass, responding to a survey by the Tahlequah Daily Press that found most respondents saying Oklahoma should increase the minimum wage [Source: Tahlequah Daily Press]

“If landlords did what they are supposed to do and tenants did what they are supposed to do they wouldn’t need me, I wouldn’t be here. But that’s not what’s happening.”

-Richard Klinge, Director of the Pro-Bono Housing Eviction Assistance Program at Oklahoma City University School of Law, which is helping tenants who are evicted after they complain to landlords who are not maintaining safe properties [Source: Fox 25]

“People who say ‘get over it’ — they just really don’t understand and haven’t taken the time to educate themselves on these issues because they still impact us today. Just because history is painful, doesn’t mean you need to forget it. So much of our history is sad that at some point you’ve got to empower the people by thinking of it in terms of being resilient and celebrating that we’re still here.”

-RaeLynn Butler, Creek Nation historic and cultural preservation manager, speaking about the forced march of Indian tribes to Oklahoma [Source: Tulsa World]

“Obviously, I did not come from a family with money or wealth and no political involvement outside of voting. It’s important to see the investment in what it does for students like me. The most powerful thing I can do as a legislator is work to expand the program.”

-Rep. Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, who said never could have afforded college without the Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program [Source: Tulsa World]

“What happens is they, a lot of times, lose their job, they lose their ability to produce any kind of income and then sometimes they lose their homes. The far-reaching effects of that, sometimes their children go into DHS custody, and that is what we’re trying to obviously prevent.”

-Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, speaking about why she has introduced a bill to make bail more affordable so Oklahomans don’t end up waiting for weeks in jail before ever seeing a judge [Source: Fox 25]

“I was really mad. I was mad because I was in there for nothing. I didn’t deserve to be in there. That’s what I thought the whole time.”

-Giselle Perez, who was locked up by mistake in the Oklahoma County jail for two weeks after a traffic stop, during which she lost her job and her father missed work to watch her two children [Source: NewsOK]

“Our state doesn’t lack women who can serve in these positions. It feels kind of like another rendition of the good ol’ boys club at a time when more and more people are starting to understand the value and necessity of diversity.”

-Liz Charles, executive director of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, speaking about Gov. Stitt’s nearly all male and white cabinet appointments [Source: NewsOK]

“Mental health now has doctors [with] the ability to treat it if we don’t stigmatize it. If we take the individuals and we simply lock them up, we’re not treating it. We’re not helping the individual get better.”

-Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin, who is pushing for a bill to extend federal funding for comprehensive behavioral health clinics, including six clinics in Oklahoma [Source: Public Radio Tulsa]