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Quotes of the Day

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“My idea of community service is a mechanism where defendants who could not afford programming or other fines, fees or costs. In lieu of those fines fees or costs, community service would be used as a punitive measure, which I think is totally appropriate. I think what has happened is everybody wants to get money from entities who can’t afford it and as a result we’ve created these unconscionable debts on individuals who can’t even pay them.”

-Bob Ravitz, chief public defender in Oklahoma County, speaking about how Oklahoma District 12 DA Matt Ballard is charging Oklahomans a monthly fee to participate in court-ordered community service [The Frontier]

“There are a lot of promise programs but they are not as robust, as richly rounded and as driven by information and data as [Oklahoma’s Promise] is. As I talk with other groups around the nation and their legislators about financial aid programs that make a difference, that work, this is the one I spotlight.”

– Cheryl Blanco of the Southern Regional Education Board, highlighting the success of the Oklahoma’s Promise tuition scholarship program for low-income students (Source)

“Oklahoma’s application defines success not as improved health for SoonerCare beneficiaries, but lower utilization of health care services. In other words, success means fewer people receiving healthcare.”

– Philip Rocco, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Marquette University, in a public comment opposing Oklahoma’s plan for Medicaid work requirements (Source)

“[Ending the ACA] would wreak havoc in our health care system. And we don’t believe Americans are ready to see that their children are no longer able to see a doctor or that they cannot get treated for a preexisting health condition.”

– Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California, on the consequences of Texas’ lawsuit seeking to have the entire Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional [Kaiser Health News]

“I think Oklahoma is in a crisis they don’t realize they’re in. They seem to think that the opioid addiction is still something that’s out in other places. It’s not. It’s here.” 

-U.S. Senator James Lankford, in Killing Pain, a new documentary on the opioid crisis in Oklahoma. [NewsOK]

“They are all very interested in ensuring that the program works correctly and that it’s the best program we can build for the state. The ones we’ve spoken to have an open mind. I think they’re not buying the reefer madness propaganda. I think we have full faith that they will implement the legislation that we envisioned for 788.”

-Frank Grove, co-leader of Oklahomans for Cannabis, speaking about his interactions with the medical marijuana legislative working group [Tulsa World]

While the budget has been stabilized, there’s still a great distance to climb before we are out of the hole created by a decade of cuts and shortfalls.

-David Blatt, OK Policy Executive Director. [Journal Record]

“I think there’s a pretty clear message that the ‘Yes’ vote on HB 1010 was the right vote, but I think we need to keep moving the state forward. I think that tells us what I’ve been saying for a while, which is that the people wanted solutions.”

– House Floor Leader Jon Echols (R-OKC) on last night’s runoff results. Of the 10 House Republican incumbents in runoffs yesterday, the three who voted in favor of the teacher pay raise kept their seats, while six of the seven who voted against the measure were defeated [NonDoc]

“We are starting to see the effects of the teacher shortage and it is scary since we are so close to OSU. Teacher raises should help increase the number of applicants but may take some time to realize the progress. All professions pay top dollar to attract what they feel is the very best so why shouldn’t education try to do the same?”

– Morrison Public Schools Superintendent Jay Vernon [CNHI]

“I see hard-working individuals and families every day whose lives will be upended by this policy, which is ill-conceived at best and intentionally punitive at worst. Rather than insulting the dignity of SoonerCare members, the governor and Legislature should be trying to strengthen our education and health care systems, as well as build an economy that works for all Oklahomans.”

-Scott Melson, M.D., in an op-ed voicing his concern with Oklahoma’s proposal to cut Medicaid for parents who don’t meet a work requirement [NewsOK]