Tuesday, July 19, 2022

House Dems call for inflation relief following Panasonic picking KS over OK

The Democrats can't keep their language straight. Is is LGBT? LGBTQ? LGBTQ+? LGBTQIAAP? 2SLGBTG+? #2SLGBTQIAAPPABCXYZ+*? New letters (and now numbers) keep getting added to the back and the front. Which is it? Inquiring minds want to know. How dare you leave somebody out. That's bigoted... or something. [insert massive eyerolls]

House Democrats Call for Immediate Inflation Relief for Oklahoma Families

OKLAHOMA CITY -- House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, held a press conference Thursday morning to call for immediate inflation relief for Oklahoma families. 

Democrats expressed the need for financial relief for Oklahoma families before the 2022 legislative session began. A month and a half past the conclusion of the legislative session, the Republican supermajority has failed to follow through.

“We have had opportunities recently to provide relief,” Virgin said. “House Republicans and Governor Stitt joined House Democrats to call for an end to the state grocery tax. Democrats called for an end to the fuel tax, but Republicans tabled that measure.”

The Democratic Caucus renewed the call for immediate inflation relief in the wake of Panasonic rejecting a more than $700 million tax incentive. 

“With yesterday’s announcement that Panasonic would locate to Kansas and not Oklahoma, House Democrats think it is appropriate to discuss shifting our focus from attracting this billion-dollar company to using that money to provide relief to Oklahoma families,” Virgin said. “We now have an opportunity to provide Oklahomans relief at the grocery store and the gas pump.”

Now that Panasonic decided not to locate here, Democrats believe it’s necessary to understand what kept the company from choosing Oklahoma. 

“We heard yesterday that proximity to Texas was a reason the company chose Kansas, but anyone with a basic understanding of geography knows that Oklahoma is closer to Texas,” Virgin said. “It seems that there is probably more to the story.” 

Considering Panasonic's commitment to an inclusive work environment, House Democrats feel that questions are needed about whether or not Oklahoma’s extremist laws against abortion and the 2SLGBTQ+ community contributed to the decision.

“You have to wonder if our lack of investment in things like education, teachers, students, does that play a role?” Virgin said. “Does extreme anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ legislation play a role? Do these laws create a climate where businesses can’t move to Oklahoma regardless of tax incentives?

“Democrats say ‘yes’ those things affect our business climate. To attract companies to locate in Oklahoma, we must stop attacking the people we want to relocate here - their employees and their families. You can’t get businesses to come here with a culture of bigotry and hate.”


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