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Quotes of the Day

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“We have great-great grandparents who were products of the Trail of Tears. They were resilient, but we lost a lot of tribal members along the way. And now you have an opioid epidemic that is wreaking havoc on families, tearing them apart. I am not sure we’re going to be resilient enough to overcome this one.”

– The Cherokee Nation’s executive director of Indian Child Welfare Nikki Baker Limore. The Cherokee Nation has filed a lawsuit against several pharmacy chains and drug distributors in tribal court (Source)

“If they cut that ADvantage [waiver] program, it’s not hyperbole to say that people are truly going to die, in their own homes.” 

– Oklahoman Lori Taylor, who has cerebral palsy and relies on the ADvantage waiver for in-home support services. She’s one of more than 22,000 Oklahomans whose care is at risk due to DHS budget cuts (Source)

“Once again, Oklahoma schools are educating more students than ever before with few new resources. Funding has not kept pace with the steady rise in enrollment over the past decade, the growing diversity of Oklahoma’s student population or the decrease of trained educators entering the profession. We will continue to advocate for teacher pay raises and adequate funding levels to meet the needs of all Oklahoma schoolchildren.”

Joy Hoffmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction (Source)

“I’m going to continue to beat the dead horse: State Question 640 is the reason we’re in special session and the reason we haven’t been able to pass the cigarette tax. We could have passed that easily if it was a 51-vote (measure). We wouldn’t be in special session if it weren’t for State Question 640 because we would have been able to pass a cigarette tax under the House and the Senate, but the 75 percent threshold has forced us to put revenue in there that we as Republicans may not be typically in favor of.”

– Senate Majority Leader Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City) (Source)

“There is a money issue. When you have a dollar need and are given a quarter, that just doesn’t work. That’s where we are in this state.”

– Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, explaining that the severe lack of funding to District Attorney offices and law enforcement agencies hampers the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases (Source)

“Our position is every area of the state should have an infrastructure that’s safe and secure, both for its citizens and any sort of economic activity that would be generated within a specific area. That’s why it’s so discouraging to see (them) take the opportunity to take a fund that was doing so much good, and designed to really jumpstart some of these rural areas that are losing population, and losing tax base. That is going to have long-lasting effect. You can’t divert $230 million and not have some sort of effect in the areas it was designed to go to.”

– Gene Wallace, Executive Director of the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma, speaking about the diversion of money from the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges program to fill holes in the state budget. $130 million was diverted from the fund just this year (Source)

“She graduated from Northeastern State University, and she’s very good friends with some of my former students at Oklahoma State. She did not get to medical school — I mean, she got accepted — but she didn’t enroll, and she’s working as a scribe at one of the major hospitals in Tulsa. But she’s on hold because of the current situation, and it’s not like Oklahoma doesn’t need multi-lingual physicians. This young woman is so capable.”

– Dr. Chalmer Labig, OSU business management professor, speaking about an an Oklahoma student whose plans for medical school have been placed on hold due the current uncertainly about the future of the DACA program (Source)

“They can’t really prepare for this. There’s not much in their control that can minimize the fallout.”

– Genevieve Kenney, co-director of the Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute, discussing options available to parents of children on CHIP if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the program and their state opts to end the program (Source)

“The traditional American high school is based on the premise that 15 percent of kids need extra help, 15 percent need remediation and 70 percent will do fine if you give them a good teacher. In high-needs schools, it’s like 95 percent need the additional support. We concentrate our neediest kids in a subset of schools that weren’t designed for that level of need.”

– Robert Balfanz, a research professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, who helped to develop a program that has increased graduation rates at a Tulsa high school from 53 percent of seniors in 2013 to 75 percent of seniors in 2016 (Source)

“We send them into school, and we trust these other adults have been trained to deal with these problems … and they do these outrageous things and we don’t know.”

– Jennifer Ashford, a mother who in 2010 sued the Edmond Public Schools district over their practice of shutting students alone in small closet-like rooms to control their behavior (Source)