Friday, July 10, 2020

Oklahoma State Department of Health Launches Color-Coded COVID-19 Alert System


Oklahoma State Department of Health Launches Color-Coded COVID-19 Alert System

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 9, 2020) – The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) today launched a new COVID-19 alert system that offers the public and local elected officials a clear method to recognize and communicate the current COVID-19 risk level in each county and to guide health behaviors.

The Oklahoma COVID-19 Alert System is a four-tiered risk measurement tool with corresponding color categories that identify the current COVID-19 risk level by county.

“This new COVID-19 alert system marries OSDH’s robust data reporting with additional public health steps that should be considered county by county to confront elevated risks of community spread,” said Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, M.D. “The color-coded system is an easy way for business owners, local leaders, and the public to know at a glance when extra precautions should be taken.”

Thursday, July 09, 2020

OCPA Fellow: To achieve criminal justice reform, everyone needs to chill


To achieve criminal justice reform, everyone needs to chill
by Ryan Haynie, Criminal Justice Reform Fellow at Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Ideas like proportionality and nuance are rapidly declining among the most vocal and those wielding the most power in our culture. In late May, a large group marched in the streets of Oklahoma City in protest of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protest eventually devolved into rioting and destruction of property.

The extent to which the destructive behavior can be associated with the original protest has been hotly debated and won’t be addressed here. The damage included everything from graffiti to a destroyed police vehicle. In short, things got out of hand. Some innocent people, including the taxpayers of Oklahoma City, suffered harm.

In response, David Prater, District Attorney for Oklahoma County, charged three individuals with multiple felonies including terrorism. Oklahoma’s terrorism statute was enacted in 2002 as a response to the 9-11 attacks. To charge these individuals with a crime intended for Al Qaeda and Timothy McVeigh defies reason.

Oklahoma, state's largest tribes release joint statement on landmark SCOTUS decision


State, Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole Nations Release Joint Statement in Response to SCOTUS Decision in McGirt Case

OKLAHOMA CITY – The State of Oklahoma, Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole Nations released the following joint statement today following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the McGirt v. Oklahoma case. 

The State, the Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole Nations have made substantial progress toward an agreement to present to Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice addressing and resolving any significant jurisdictional issues raised by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

Rep. Hern applauds SCOTUS decision protecting religious liberty


Hern applauds SCOTUS decision protecting religious liberty

TULSA, OK – Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) released the following statement after this morning’s Supreme Court ruling that The Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic charity, cannot be forced by the government under the Affordable Care Act to provide free contraception to their employees in violation of their religious beliefs.

“This is a decisive win for first amendment freedoms,” said Rep. Hern. “Our Founders sought to establish a government that does not infringe on the religious beliefs and liberties of its people. With this decision from the Supreme Court today, we upheld the idea that no American can be forced by the government to violate their religious beliefs.

Muskogee GOP announces Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, set for August 13th


The Muskogee County Republican Party is holding their annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner on August 13th, featuring a Q&A with local elected officials.

Tickets for the fundraising dinner are $40 if RSVP'd by August 1st, or else $50 at the door. Sponsorship levels are available, as are candidate display tables.

Click here for the RSVP form.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Group of state lawmakers supports law enforcement, speaks against cancel culture and 'woke' agenda


From State Rep. Tom Gann's office this afternoon:

Group of Lawmakers Supports Law Enforcement

OKLAHOMA CITY – A group of Oklahoma lawmakers last week issued the following statements in support of Oklahoma law enforcement officers.

Because of widespread support, additional members have requested to be on this list. Their names are listed below.

"In the past few weeks, our law enforcement professionals have come under incessant attack. We want these law enforcement professionals to know that we have their backs. As Oklahoma's policy leaders, we are coming together as a team, collectively locking arms and standing in defense of those who defend the citizens of Oklahoma.

"All Oklahomans must know that we will never bend a knee to a mob, nor will we ever comply with demands to defund those who protect the rule of law and the citizens of Oklahoma."

Lucas helps introduce bill to help meat and poultry processors meet demand


Lucas, Peterson Introduce RAMP-UP Act Helping Meat & Poultry Processors Access Inspection to Meet Demand

Cheyenne, OK – Today, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (MN-07) introduced the Requiring Assistance to Meat Processors for Upgrading Plants (RAMP-UP) Act.

The RAMP-UP Act would establish a program to make facility upgrades and planning grants to existing meat and poultry processors to help them move to Federal Inspection and be able to sell their products across state lines. The legislation would also require the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to work with states and report on ways to improve the existing Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.

“Right now, America’s meat producers and processors are facing unprecedented market challenges. At a time when producers are experiencing increased demand for high-quality meat, meat processors across the United States are racing to increase their capacity to meet the demands of consumers and producers,” said Congressman Lucas. “The RAMP-UP Act gives processors the tools to become federally inspected facilities, which widens their customer base while maintaining strong inspection standards. I’m proud to join my friend and Agriculture Committee Chairman, Congressman Collin Peterson in expanding the opportunities for not only Oklahoma’s processing facilities but meat processors across the United States.”

“We have seen the importance of having meat and poultry processors of all sizes in Minnesota and across the country over the past few months,” said Chairman Peterson. “The RAMP-UP Act will provide grants to help these rural small businesses meet that demand, wherever their customers live.”

Music Monday: Freelance Fireworks Hall of Fame

This week's Music Monday is the theme song for all amateur pyrotechnicians around Independence Day, the hilarious Freelance Fireworks Hall of Fame by internet comedy duo Rhett & Link.

Enjoy!


See below for all previous Music Monday posts. Do you have a song you'd like to suggest for a future Music Monday? Email me at JamisonFaught@MuskogeePolitico.com.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

1889 Institute: A Judicial Attack on Election Integrity


A Judicial Attack on Election Integrity
By Benjamin Lepak

The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently attempted to rewrite Oklahoma’s election laws, behind closed doors, on a compressed timetable, and without public input. All with an election looming in which the new rules would apply.

In May, the Court eliminated the requirement that absentee voters confirm their identity with a notary. Under the ruling, absentee voters would be permitted to vote with little more than a promise they are who they say they are, while in-person voters would still be required to show ID.

The lawsuit was filed by a coalition of progressive organizations called “Let the People Vote,” claiming voters could contract COVID-19 from notaries.

Count me skeptical. The coalition looked an awful lot like the one supporting State Question 802’s Medicaid expansion. They even hired the same law firm. The lead plaintiff in the case, the League of Women Voters, features only two advocacy items on its webpage, “Let the People Vote” and “Yes on State Question 802.”

Friday, July 03, 2020

Stitt signs new gaming compacts with Kialegee Tribal Town, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians


STATE OF OKLAHOMA, KIALEGEE SIGN NEW GAMING COMPACTS

OKLAHOMA CITY  (July 2, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt and Kialegee Tribal Town (KTT) Mekko Brian Givens signed on Thursday a new gaming compact that delivers clarity and certainty for each sovereign party; strengthens compact transparency with clear auditing guidance and with new dispute resolution provisions; and provides for meaningful consideration for the State’s fee structure for class III games and table games beginning at 12% for a new gaming location in eastern Oklahoma County.

“By negotiating with each individual Oklahoma tribe, the State is seeking to level the playing field for all tribes and working to ensure that no one is held back by its size or resources from competing and pursuing economic growth for its citizens,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “The Kialegee Tribal Town is pursuing a sound business plan for its first gaming location in Oklahoma with their compact commitment to partner with another Tribe on this venture. They have been good faith partners in this process, and the State looks forward to supporting their efforts to strengthen opportunities for KTT citizens, to expand economic development in the region, and to generate new revenue for Oklahoma’s public education system.”

KTT submitted the gaming compact to the U.S. Department of Interior on Wednesday, which can be read by clicking here.



STATE OF OKLAHOMA, UNITED KEETOOWAH BAND OF CHEROKEE INDIANS SIGN NEW GAMING COMPACTS

OKLAHOMA CITY (July 2, 2020) – The State of Oklahoma and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) signed on Wednesday a new gaming compact that delivers clarity and certainty for each sovereign party; strengthens compact transparency with clear auditing guidance and with new dispute resolution provisions; and provides for meaningful consideration for the State’s fee structure for class III games and table games beginning at 12% for a new gaming location in Logan County.

“One year after beginning gaming compact negotiations, the State has entered into its fourth compact that makes way for Oklahoma tribes to innovate and compete in a new, dynamic gaming market and strengthens State-Tribal relationships,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “The compact includes a commitment from the State to support the UKB’s pursuit of land for its first gaming location. This will enhance the UKB’s ability to deliver core government services to its 14,300 citizens while expanding economic development opportunities for all Oklahomans in the region.”

“It is both an honor and privilege to be announcing the signing of this economic venture between the great State of Oklahoma and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians,” said UKB Chief Joe Bunch. “We thank Governor Kevin Stitt and his administration for this monumental day and for their leadership efforts in this compact. It is a grand day for Keetoowahs and Native American tribes all over the country. It is a day when one of their own partnered with Oklahoma in building a stronger economy through the avenues of retail, food and beverage, hotel, hospitality and casino operations, all by a signing a Class III gaming compact with the state. This compact also presents an opportunity for the UKB to move forward and begin increasing health, education and job opportunities for our tribal members and elders, as well as our surrounding communities. After all, we know if our communities are doing well, the state is also doing well. Thank you and God bless the UKB and the State of Oklahoma.”

“This is a monumental day for Keetoowahs. I wanted to thank Governor Stitt and his council that’s worked to put this compact together with our Attorney General Klint Cowan and our council,” said UKB Assistant Chief Jammie Thompson. “We’re trying to create a win-win situation for all Oklahomans and certainly for our tribal members. We’re looking forward to a long relationship with the state that benefits not only our tribe, but our citizens of the great state of Oklahoma.”

The Logan County location will require an additional Section 20 application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

UKB submitted the gaming compact to the U.S. Department of Interior on Wednesday, which can be read by clicking here.