Tuesday, May 11, 2021

OK Attorney General announces deal to return state's Hydroxychloroquine stockpile

Well, let's take a look at what we've got:
  • In January, Attorney General Mike Hunter filed a petition in district court for over $1.8 million over a personal protective equipment order that a company never delivered to the Oklahoma Department of Health.
  • In April, AG Hunter filed a lawsuit against a company for failing to deliver an order of ventilators to the Oklahoma State Department of Health at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. In the lawsuit, the state claims the OSDH paid over $890,000 for 40 ventilators last April. The company had only delivered two ventilators by June 2020. Despite canceling the order in October, the company had 21 ventilators delivered in December. The Oklahoma State Department of Health returned the wrongfully delivered ventilators but has not received a refund.
And here we learn that the OSDH is getting a refund for returning $2.6 million worth of hydroxychloroquine that was purchased during the well-intentioned but seemingly misguided Trump-fueled craze for the drug last spring.

Attorney General Hunter Strikes Deal to Return Hydroxychloroquine Stockpile

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today announced he has reached an agreement with FFF Enterprises to return the state’s stockpile of hydroxychloroquine for a refund.

Based on the unique circumstances encountered by the Oklahoma Department of Health, the company has agreed to return to the Department of Health the full purchase price paid for the medication last year.

The Oklahoma State Health Department purchased hydroxychloroquine at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic ​after the federal Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the drug as a treatment for the virus.

After ​the federal Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization, the Oklahoma State Health Department asked the attorney general to get involved.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Gov. Stitt signs bill prohibiting “Critical Race Theory” curriculum

Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting “Critical Race Theory” Curriculum

OKLAHOMA CITY – The governor today signed a bill that will prohibit Oklahoma public schools, colleges and universities from teaching “Critical Race Theory” and from requiring mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling.

House Bill 1775 is authored by Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore.

“I’m grateful to the governor for seeing the need for signing this crucial legislation,” West said. “Already, this harmful indoctrination has infiltrated Oklahoma schools from as early as pre-kindergarten classrooms all the way through college courses. Some of our state universities currently are requiring this mandatory training for their freshman students.”

West notes that much of the curriculum, often referred to as “Critical Race Theory” is based on Marxist ideology that is designed to teach children to hate American exceptionalism and distrust others based on skin color or sex. Additionally it teaches that most laws and systems in America are historically rooted in the racist oppression of people of color and other marginalized groups. It promotes the theory of implicit bias and inherent racism due to one’s skin color.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

OCPA column: Starting a bonfire with your money

Starting a bonfire with your money
By Jonathan Small

Do you think the problem with state government is agencies are too small and inexpensive? Perhaps Republicans in the Oklahoma House of Representatives do, because they’ve voted to increase the number of state employees by more than 1,000 and dramatically boost the cost of Medicaid expansion.

Due to passage of an initiative petition, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program will add hundreds of thousands of able-bodied adults to the rolls starting in July, costing anywhere from $164 million to $374 million based on estimates.

But now House Republicans have voted to further boost the added cost by up to another $277 million per year. That should leave all citizens shaking their heads—especially since another option exists.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has called for contracting with private managed care companies that would be paid a fee to oversee implementation of Medicaid benefits. Those companies would direct patients to preventative care and early treatment, which costs less, ultimately reducing expensive hospitalizations. If costs exceed what the private companies are paid, the private company pays the difference, protecting Oklahoma taxpayers from price shocks.

But House Republicans have voted to instead have the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) handle cost-control internally. If the OHCA doesn’t control costs, there are no financial penalties for failure. In fact, the agency would probably ask for more funding.

But that’s not the worst of it.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Gov. Stitt: "COVID-19 no longer an emergency", withdraws State of Emergency Declaration


OKLAHOMA CITY (May 3, 2021) – Governor Kevin Stitt today signed Executive Order 2021-11 to withdraw and rescind the COVID-19 State of Emergency effective Tuesday, May 4.

In a video message, Gov. Stitt pointed out that Oklahoma’s 7-day average of new cases is down 94% from its peak and among the lowest per capita rates in the country. Stitt also mentioned that hospitalizations are down 90% and are stable.

The governor said his decision was made possible by the collective actions taken by Oklahomans over the past year.

Friday, April 30, 2021

State House passes bill prohibiting “Critical Race Theory” curriculum in public education systems

Critical Race Theory (here's a brief primer on it from Pulpit & Pen, plus some more videos and podcasts on it from Todd Friel and Wretched) is going to destroy American society unless leaders rise up and speak out against this Marxist ideology that is sweeping through the education and entertainment industries. 

Kudos to the Oklahoma Legislature for taking a stab at this issue.

In this post: press release from the authors of the measure, press release from House Democrats who are just appalled at it [insert shocked face], and supportive comments from OCPA President Jonathan Small.

Bill Prohibiting “Critical Race Theory” Curriculum Passes House

OKLAHOMA CITY – A House bill, amended in the state Senate, that will prohibit Oklahoma public schools, colleges and universities from incorporating certain messages about sex and race into any course instruction earned final passage in the House today. The bill also will prohibit requiring mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling in the schools.

House Bill 1775 is authored by Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Governor Stitt signs pro-life 'Heartbeat Bill'

Governor Stitt continues to tout his willingness to sign any pro-life bill that makes it to his desk. I'm more convinced than ever that the truly consistent and committed pro-life position should be to abolish abortion now and end the incremental/regulation strategy that has dominated the pro-life effort for the last five decades.

If we're willing to fight for a heartbeat bill, or requiring abortionists to be OB-GYNs, or whatever other bill fits the description of "pro-life" these days, let's [figuratively] fight for real and go for full-blown abolition.

Governor Signs Heartbeat Bill

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Stitt this week signed a bill that will stop abortions from being performed once an unborn child is determined to have a detectable heartbeat.

House Bill 2441 by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, would allow for abortion only if a medical emergency exists that threatens the life of the mother.

“All life is precious and deserves to be safeguarded,” Russ said. “This law will decrease the number of abortions performed in our state and protect the lives of innocent unborn babies. I’m thankful to all who helped accomplish this.”

Sen. Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville, the Senate author of the legislation, secured passage of the bill in that chamber.

"I believe life begins at conception, but with the detection of a fetal heartbeat no one can doubt that the baby in the womb is alive and must be protected.  HB 2441 will do just that,” Daniels said.  “I am grateful to the members of both chambers and to Governor Stitt for supporting this legislation.”

Minister, Paul Abner, president of the group Oklahoma Faith Leaders, was a significant advocate and voice for the faith community of Oklahoma, expressing support of this measure at the state Capitol.

"If we've learned anything during this past year, it is the value of human life. We've seen an incredible movement across the United States and the world to protect it,” Abner said. Still we continue to neglect those who have no voice - the unborn. But yesterday, Oklahoma took a huge leap toward defending the sanctity of life, as Governor Kevin Stitt signed HB 2441 into law. Thankfully, Rep. Todd Russ had the courage to introduce this legislation, commonly known as the heartbeat bill. The faith leaders whom I represent boldly supported this legislation and worked diligently to get it passed. We are incredibly grateful to all of our state legislators who helped vote this important legislation into law and stood up for life in Oklahoma.”

HB 2441 requires reasonable medical judgment to determine that a mother has a condition that so complicates her medical condition that it necessitates the abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or serious or irreparable physical harm to her.

Todd Russ represents District 55 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes Roger Mills and Washita counties and parts of Beckham Greer and Kiowa counties.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Such a priority: Oklahoma now has rescue animals as the state pet

Call me a killjoy, but I would much rather our State legislators spend their time on actual legislative work rather than frivolous things like this.

Rather than naming a state pet, or some bridge, or filing joke bills to ban paper straws and get your name in the news again like some drug junkie out for another hit... how about the state legislature do some of the following:
But by all means, go ahead and waste time and effort on pointless measures like the following...

Gov. Signs Bill Naming Rescue Animals as State Pet

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mark McBride’s dog Cali is ready for her moment as the spokesdog for the state after the governor signed a bill designating rescue animals the state pet.

Cali, an 80-pound Catahoula mix McBride adopted from the Moore Animal Shelter, served as the inspiration for Cali’s Law, House Bill 1816.

“I’d never let a dog in my house before I got Cali,” McBride said. “Now, my wife and I have a second rescue dog, and we just love them both. We’re hoping others will join us in adopting other rescue animals, which in turn will help our municipalities reduce the cost of running their shelters or building bigger ones for lost or abandoned pets. We’re counting on this legislation helping us spread the word.”

Gov. Stitt signs bill to protect right to worship

Governor Signs OK Religious Freedom Act

OKLAHOMA CITY – On Monday, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act to protect the constitutional right to worship.

House Bill 2648 dictates that anything closing places of worship would be considered a substantial burden on people’s freedom of religion. The bill’s author, Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang, filed the legislation after learning that many states’ governments had forced places of worship to close throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is of the upmost importance that we ensure our God-given right to worship is protected no matter the circumstances,” Hill said. “Our country was founded upon the promise of religious freedom for all, and we must preserve that right for generations to come. My faith, like many Oklahomans, is at the core of who I am, and I’m very grateful that my colleagues in the Legislature and Governor Stitt have stood up to protect of our First Amendment right to worship.”

Saturday, April 24, 2021

1889 Institute: The Economic Fantasizing of the Green Advocates

The Economic Fantasizing of the Green Advocates
By Byron Schlomach

In a confirmation hearing for President Biden’s Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, Senator Ted Cruz complained about Biden killing the Keystone XL pipeline, eliminating 11,000 jobs. Buttigieg responded that “Biden’s climate agenda will create a net increase in jobs.” Buttigieg’s response, commonly given by climate activists when challenged on jobs, is pure, unmitigated, economic balderdash.

New technology, from steam engines to robotics, has generally freed resources to expand opportunities and increase standards of living. Green advocates presume, therefore, that any new technology will do the same. But there is a key feature of innovations that expand opportunity and jobs. They make production cheaper.

True growth-inducing innovations, like steam, the Bessemer process for producing steel, and refining and burning fossil fuels for energy are always a chance to lower costs. Consequently, they are adopted voluntarily. There is never any need for governments to force, bribe (through grants and subsidies), or tax advantage companies into adopting innovations that are truly beneficial – that is, that lower costs and produce a higher standard of living on top of more jobs for us all.