Tuesday, February 08, 2022

GOP and Dem leaders respond to Stitt's State of the State

Following Governor Kevin Stitt's State of the State address yesterday, legislative leaders from both sides of the Capitol building - and the aisle - issued statements with their reaction. Read them below:

Speaker McCall responds to State of the State

OKLAHOMA CITY – House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s annual State of the State address:

“House Republicans found plenty to like in the governor’s speech as we begin another strong year to close out what is already the most comprehensive policy session in recent history, thanks to last year’s extensive accomplishments. We were glad to hear shared priorities like protecting Oklahomans’ individual liberties, growing the economy and stopping black market marijuana, plus solid fiscal policy to keep cutting taxes and saving money amid record revenues while still paying troopers more, rewarding high-performing teachers and investing in infrastructure, especially broadband. As always, the House will work in good faith on these and other issues as we continue strengthening Oklahoma together.”

Pro Tem Greg Treat responds to Governor's State of the State

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, congratulated Gov. Kevin Stitt for a successful State of the State address Monday to open the second regular session of the 58th Legislature.

Gov. Stitt specifically mentioned his support for Treat’s Senate Bill 1647, the Oklahoma Empowerment Act.

“The governor gave a substantive speech outlining several priorities that will take Oklahoma to the next level. I appreciate the governor’s support of the Oklahoma Empowerment Act, which is a transformative education reform bill. Education is the key to bringing generational change and breaking the poverty cycle in our state. All parents should be empowered to pick the school that best serves the needs of their children. Senate Bill 1647 will put parents back in charge of their children’s education and help students pursue a great education regardless of where they live,” Treat said.

The governor also signaled his support for the elimination of the state sales tax on groceries. Treat has filed Senate Bill 1495, which would eliminate the 4.5 percent state sales tax on groceries. The bill would not prohibit cities and counties from levying their own grocery sales taxes.

“Inflation is near a 40-year high and is draining the budgets of all Oklahoma families. The state sales tax on groceries is a regressive tax that harms working families the most. I look forward to partnering with the governor to pursue the elimination of the state's grocery sales tax so that we can give Oklahoma families meaningful tax relief,” Treat said.

Statement from Senate Democrats on governor’s State of the State address

OKLAHOMA CITY –Senate Democratic Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, issued the following statement on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus:

“We are disappointed that the governor did not mention COVID-19 in his speech or offer any plans to get the pandemic under control. Our caucus believes our state’s top priority is defeating the pandemic so we can focus on recovery and our state’s most urgent challenges.

“We are also opposed to new proposals to expand school vouchers. Senate Democrats believe we must invest in our public schools, not drain scarce resources to fund private school vouchers. Public dollars should be invested in public schools.

“The governor chose to give a partisan and highly divisive speech that was more about politics than solutions. This is the wrong approach. We should be working together on behalf of all Oklahomans.”


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