Thursday, February 18, 2021

In need of water damage restoration? Clean Pro can help!


EASTERN OKLAHOMA WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION SERVICES
Call NOW to get on our waiting list!

We hope you are staying safe and warm during this arctic freeze. This post is to remind you that if you happen to experience burst pipes and water damage call Clean Pro immediately at 918-686-0222. We have received numerous calls already and are operating multiple jobs as we speak. We are expecting an increase in the amount of customers needing our help as the weather warms up and the thaw reveals more damage to plumbing.

We will get to you, but our conversations with area plumbers and restoration firms shows that everyone is currently overwhelmed with work and backed up.

We will get to everyone on our list, but it may take time to work through the backlog. We are currently calling in "the cavalry", so to speak, and will be able to handle more work in the very near future. That's why it's so important to call now in order to get on the list.

Clean Pro is an IICRC-Certified firm with trained technicians who are equipped to take care of your water loss. We have over 33 years of experience helping our customers get through disasters such as flooding and water damage. Clean Pro has enough structural drying equipment to handle just about any size of water loss and are ready to help you when you have the need.

Remember, you - not the insurance company - get to decide who does work for you. Give us a call at 918-686-0222, or send us an email at Info@CleanProMuskogee.com.

Shop local, support small business! 

-- The Faught Family
Serving eastern Oklahoma since 1987

P.S. Pass this along to your family, friends, and church. We can take care of just about any size of residential or commercial job, and have done work for dozens of area churches and nonprofits



Tuesday, February 16, 2021

1889 Institute: A pPlan to put Teachers in charge, give Parents choices, and benefit Children


A Plan to Put Teachers in Charge, Give Parents Choices, and Benefit Children
By Mike Davis

Our education model is puzzling when compared to other industries. But it’s been this way so long it’s difficult to imagine anything else. We group children by age, not by knowledge or ability. We send them to schools based on address, not teaching methodology. Parents have very little say over which school their children can attend. And teachers are answerable to more and more people who lack the qualifications to teach, which is the sole mission of the public schools.

Teachers have always answered to the principal, which does track with other professions. The managing partner of a law firm has ultimate authority too. The principal is usually a former teacher, but he no longer spends his days in the classroom. For him, a successful day is one free of dealing with troublemakers. Rather than maintaining proper discipline he can simply shuffle them back to class. But the senior partner defers to an experienced attorney in matters of case strategy. He hasn’t been in settlement conferences, and hasn’t read the judge’s disposition in case management conferences. How often do teachers get the same consideration?

Beyond this disconnect, a teacher might answer to librarians, counselors, and technology staff. A lawyer would never be answerable to administrative staff. As schools trend towards social programs, the focus on education wanes. So too does the teacher’s status. They used to be the reason schools existed; now they are cogs in the social-work machine.

1889 has proposed a solution to put teachers in the driver seat, and give parents meaningful options for educating their children. The Professional Teacher Charter Act allows experienced teachers to open their own school, funded on the same basis as other charters. Parents will be free to choose the school that best fits their child.

The freedom inherent in the plan will allow Oklahoma to become a laboratory of pedagogy. Schools will be able to test and improve their teaching methods. Parents will be free to choose a school that they believe works best for their child. Not every child learns the same way, and what works for nine students might not work as well for a tenth.

“More funding to the classroom” is the mantra and excuse for nearly every demand for increased public education funding. But the single most important classroom expense is the teacher. Yet the system puts the teacher at the very bottom of the decision-making ladder.

1889’s model flips the ladder and puts teachers in charge of schools and then empowers parents to choose the school that is best for their child. Ultimately, this can only benefit Oklahoma’s schoolchildren.

Mike Davis is a Research Fellow at 1889 Institute. He can be reached at mdavis@1889institute.org.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Speaker McCall appoints State and Federal Redistricting Committee


House State and Federal Redistricting Committee appointed

OKLAHOMA CITY – The House State and Federal Redistricting Committee was appointed Friday to continue the House’s public-focused redistricting process throughout the 2021 legislative session.

House Speaker Charles McCall appointed the 29-member bipartisan committee to establish the formal policies and protocols for House redistricting. After the delivery of final U.S. Census data, the committee will advance legislation containing new districts to the full House for consideration.

“The unprecedented public involvement and outreach completed to date will continue to be the basis of House redistricting going forward,” said McCall, R-Atoka.

The standing committee will base its work on public input gathered by the House’s eight regional redistricting subcommittees, which conducted dozens of town halls across the state to hear from citizens about the composition of districts for the next decade. In a historic move, every House member was appointed to a regional subcommittee to ensure total representation of the full state in the redistricting process.

The State and Federal Redistricting Committee will hold its first meeting next week to adopt policies, protocols and a public map submission process.

Governor Stitt: State providing comprehensive, coordinated response to winter storm

Photo credit: KOCO's Michael Armstrong via Twitter

STATE OF OKLAHOMA CONTINUES COMPREHENSIVE, COORDINATED RESPONSE TO WINTER STORM

OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 14, 2021) – The State of Oklahoma continues to provide a comprehensive, coordinated response to the ongoing winter storm which has brought heavy snow, strong winds and prolonged, historically cold temperatures.

Governor Kevin Stitt and state officials are encouraging all Oklahomans to continue to stay off the roads as conditions deteriorate and to conserve energy where possible due to historic demand levels.

“State and local crews are working around-the-clock to clear the roads as quickly as possible,” said Gov. Stitt. “Please stay home if you can to allow them to work more effectively and consider lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees or cooler and avoid using large appliances like your washer and dryer. Oklahomans take pride in helping their neighbors and we can make a big difference by taking a few small steps together.”

To further help conserve energy, Gov. Stitt has asked state agencies not providing essential public-facing services to work from home through Wednesday wherever possible.

Oklahoma Natural Gas has provided additional tips for Oklahomans to deal with the extreme cold here: https://www.oklahomanaturalgas.com/customer-awareness/severe-cold.

Gov. Stitt issued Executive Order 2021-06 on Friday, declaring a State of Emergency across all 77 Oklahoma counties and clearing the way for state and local agencies to provide mutual aid in accordance with the State Emergency Operations Plan.

OCPA: Are parents getting what they pay for with college?


Are parents getting what they pay for with college?
By Jonathan Small

Whether parents are truly getting their money’s worth when paying for a child’s college tuition is a growing question not just in other states, but Oklahoma as well.

That’s because an increasing share of tuition money today funds things that have little to do with academics and preparing for a career, and much to do with political indoctrination.

Consider the University of Oklahoma, which has mandated diversity training for all students. Thanks to that training, OU students now know that chanting “Boomer Sooner” is racially problematic. They’ve been informed that supporting equality and treating all people the same are bad things. (I kid you not.) They’ve even been told the lives of all black citizens are comparable to house fires. Nothing shows your racial awareness like stereotyping all people by race, I guess.

Not to be outdone, Oklahoma City Community College recently removed a longstanding depiction of the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run. Why? Because it supposedly offended American Indians, who were often displaced by those settlers. Fair enough. What if the campus also had a monument recognizing the history of American Indians in Oklahoma? It seems that was never considered. Better to erase the past than grapple with it.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Oklahoma Congressional delegation thanks OK National Guard for U.S. Capitol service

Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

Oklahoma Congressional Delegation Thanks National Guard for U.S. Capitol Service

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (OK-05), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, together with U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01), Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), Representative Frank Lucas (OK-03), Representative Tom Cole (OK-04), and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), wrote a letter to the Oklahoma National Guard this week, thanking them for their exemplary service at the U.S. Capitol last month.

Bice and several Oklahoma Congressional members met with the troops while they were in town guarding the U.S. Capitol during inauguration. Oklahoma National Guard Members spent a week guarding the nation’s capitol.

“It was an honor to have the Oklahoma National Guard in Washington to ensure the safety and security of all who work within the Capitol complex. The sacrifices of these men and women are truly appreciated and will not be forgotten,” Bice said.

Tax credit bill for rural physicians passes House committee


O’Donnell Tax Credit Bill for Rural Physicians Passes Committee

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Speaker Pro Tempore Terry O’Donnell, R-Catoosa, on Tuesday secured unanimous committee passage of a bill that would provide income tax credits for doctors practicing in rural areas of the state.

House Bill 2089 is authored by House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka and Speaker Pro Tempore O’Donnell. The bill would grant up to a $25,000 tax credit for income from compensation directly related to the practice of medicine or osteopathic medicine by a qualifying physician.

“The lifestyle of rural physicians doesn’t always appeal to young students getting out of medical school these days,” O’Donnell told members of the House Rules Committee. “This tax credit would help us incentivize doctors to go into practice in our state’s rural communities, an effort to bolster rural health care.”

“This measure will help us build the ranks of rural doctors to serve residents who choose to live in our state’s smaller communities,” said Speaker McCall. “These residents are as deserving of access to a family physician, obstetricians and or other health care specialists as people who live in more populous areas.”

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Stitt signs first bill of 2021 legislative session, reinstating virtual public meetings exemptions


GOVERNOR STITT SIGNS FIRST BILL OF 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Senate Bill 1031 reinstates temporary modifications to allow for virtual public meetings

OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 10, 2021) – Governor Kevin Stitt today signed Senate Bill 1031 into law, his first bill of the 2021 legislative session, reinstating temporary modifications to the Open Meeting Act allowing for virtual public meetings.

“I want to thank Pro Tem Treat, Speaker McCall and the Legislature for getting this across the finish line to my desk,” said Gov. Stitt. “We’ve all heard from constituents, state agencies, local school boards and other public bodies requesting this, and I’m pleased we were able to deliver so quickly.”

SB 1031, authored by Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat (R-Oklahoma City) and House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City), reinstates the same exemptions to the Open Meeting Act that were signed into law in 2020 with some minor changes, including requiring public bodies to post documents or materials online that are provided to participants of the meeting.

Opt-in data privacy legislation passes State House committee


Opt-In Data Privacy Legislation Passes Committee

OKLAHOMA CITY – Bipartisan legislation to address concerns over data privacy and data manipulation unanimously passed out of the House Technology Committee today with a vote of 6 to 0. 

The Oklahoma Computer Data Privacy Act, House Bill 1602, requires internet technology companies to obtain explicit permission to collect and sell personal data. 

The legislation has bipartisan support and is co-authored by more than 40 representatives and senators. The legislation’s primary authors, Reps. Josh West and Collin Walke, see the bill as an opportunity to claw back privacy rights from companies that continue to abuse them. 

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Gov. Stitt signs executive order challenging Biden Admin's attack on energy production

(L to R) Sen. Zack Taylor, R-Seminole, Senate Energy Committee Vice Chair; Secretary of Energy and Environment Ken Wagner; Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, Senate Energy Committee Chair; Gov. Kevin Stitt; Rep. Brad Boles, R-Marlow, House Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chair; Rep. Anthony Moore, R-Clinton, House Energy & Natural Resources Committee Vice Chair

GOVERNOR STITT SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER TO PROTECT OKLAHOMA ENERGY FROM FEDERAL OVERREACH

OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 8, 2021) – Governor Kevin Stitt signed an executive order today to protect Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry from a Washington power grab.

Executive Order 2021-03 highlights Oklahoma’s role as an global leader in energy production as well as the state’s successful “all of the above” strategy that has reduced carbon dioxide emissions to levels below the national average while producing the most affordable energy in the United States.

The order also criticizes the Biden Administration’s attack on energy producing states like Oklahoma, specifically citing the federal overreach and dismissal of Oklahoma’s constitutional ability to properly determine how to best develop its own natural resources.

“Energy production is the backbone of Oklahoma’s economy,” said Gov. Stitt. “My executive order sends a clear message to the Biden Administration that threatening to destroy Oklahoma jobs and our constitutional ability to develop our oil and gas is unacceptable. We will not be passive in responding to systematic attacks on Oklahoma values.”