Posts tagged Oklahoma
Posts tagged Oklahoma
President Barack Obama receives praise and hugs from his family after being sworn-in for his second term at the White House on Sunday.
(Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters)
The 113th Congress, by the numbers
The more you know. -heidi
Donna Anderson, Superintendent of Bennington Public Schools, announced today that she will run to be Oklahoma’s Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2014.
She has more than 19 years of education experience and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northwestern University, and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from East Central University.
It is exciting to see so many Oklahoma Democrats that are announcing their candidacies for 2014! Donna joins many other candidates that understand the importance of getting started early! If you are interested in running for office or would like to nominate someone, contact us!
Photo Credit: Sadie Kaserman
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin continues to hide behind an “Executive Privilege” that does not exist in Oklahoma. She is using this tactic to hide emails that she received which helped guide her decision to not implement parts of the Affordable Care Act for Oklahomans. She has made the conscience choice to tell the people of Oklahoma to basically “not worry your pretty little head about grown-up stuff.”
Her secrecy reminded us of a famous scene from the movie “A Few Good Men”. Jack Nicholson plays the role of a government official who does not tell the public everything, and he has to own up to his mistake in the end.
In 2011, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Insurance Commissioner John Doak created an executive order to deny newborns health insurance. This was done by eliminating birth as a qualifying event for these children to be able to join their parents insurance.
It was mentioned that the Commissioner was working on fixing this coverage gap, but a solution has yet to be seen.
Leader Inman has blasted a potential pay increase for top republican elected officials, ones that have repeatedly attacked middle class Oklahomans this past year particularly Governor Mary Fallin, Insurance Commissioner John Doak, Superintendent of Education Janet Barresi, and Labor Commissioner Mark Costello. It starts with the subtle fact that statewide officials salaries are tied to the judiciary.
The Board on Judicial Compensation voted in September to support an across the board 6% increase in the salaries of Oklahoma judges.
The Governor’s salary, for example, is tied to that of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who currently makes $147,000 per year. A 6% bump in salary will bring the Governor’s compensation to $155,820.00, with another $2,130.00 in increased benefits.
“At a time when average Oklahoma families are struggling to put food on the table, haven’t had a pay increase in years, and are suffering through rising costs in medical care, it would be unconscionable for the Republican leadership and the Governor to stand by and allow over $350,000 in pay increases for elected state officials,” Inman said.
The Judicial Compensation Board presented this pay increase recommendation to the House of Representatives and to the Governor four months ago for their approval. No comments have been forthcoming as to plans to disapprove this pending pay increase.
Leader Inman noted that the pay increases would be “egregiously hypocritical” if approved.
“To give the issue some perspective, the Governor and the Republican leadership would be giving a raise to politicians who have assaulted the pay and job security of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and many others who struggle to make ends meet.” Leader Inman said.
These potential pay increases would be going to a Governor that does not support insurance for newborns.
Superintendent Barresi last year declined to fund the National Board Certified Teacher program, which offered a $5,000 annual bonus to teachers with that certification. Teachers who completed the rigorous program on the promises of this merit pay received in effect a 12% pay cut due to Supt. Barresi’s decision.
“To top it all off, there are serious efforts underway to further reduce state revenue and eliminate the few credits on the books that aid middle and lower-income families. If the decision of the Governor and the Republican leadership is to do nothing and let this pay increase take effect, it would be not only inappropriate, but irresponsible as well.”
Inman said, “It has been six years since state employees received a pay increase. A lot of these statewide elected officials make three to five times more than average Oklahomans who take home little more than $30,000 a year. Today I call on all our statewide elected officials to reject this pay raise. To do anything less is inexcusable!”
Oklahoma City- Under legislation state Rep. Joe Dorman plans to file next week, companies that take a waste product and turn it into a new, usable product would qualify for Oklahoma’s Quality Jobs program. “The chairman of the task force looking at tax credits has praised the Oklahoma Quality Jobs program again and again and I think we should expand it to include companies involved in business-side recycling and remanufacturing,” Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said. “These businesses reduce trash, which is a major headache for government entities at all levels. They also create a product and jobs. Businesses must produce jobs to qualify, so taxpayers are ensured a return on their investment.”
Oklahoma Senator Dan Newberry (R) - Tulsa seeks to eliminate employment protections for nearly 25,000 state workers. The bill provides that “appointing authorities shall not convey any right or expectation of continued employment to all employees…the appointing authority may separate each employee at any time with or without cause.”
“This legislation, if enacted, would bolster the ‘good ‘ole boy’ system that has plagued Oklahoma for so long,” Rep. Lockhart said. “Senator Newberry’s bill would increase the influence an elected official could have on the hiring and firing of state employees.”
That HQ mural we told you about the other day just got painted in. Here’s some before-and-after.