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Priorities and Issues

 

Education

                                                     

Our state must provide a high quality education system to ensure continued social and economic prosperity and opportunity. Under funding continues to fuel our teacher shortage, excessive class sizes, and our inability to provide updated textbooks and basic needs for our classrooms and students. This outcome is unacceptable. Oklahoma leads the nation in the deepest cuts to education funding and as a result, many districts have been forced to go to four day school weeks. These are not the only consequences of a decade of budget cuts which have created this crisis.

We need a new perspective.

As your elected representative, I will work to identify waste in our spending and create revenue sources to consistently and adequately fund our schools so districts have the resources they need to give our children the education they deserve.

 

 

Budget Reform

Oklahoma’s budget crisis continues because our legislators keep kicking the can down the road. Years of tax cuts have created revenue shortfalls for core agencies. We need representatives who will stand up to the status quo and create reoccurring and consistent revenue sources for the long term.

Work on the budget must begin earlier in the legislative session.

When budget decisions are rushed, mistakes are made, jobs are lost, and children are put at risk.

 

 

 

Criminal Justice Reform:

It is time for Oklahoma to get SMART on crime. Oklahoma’s high incarceration rate is depleting our education budget, breaking up families, and overwhelming our DHS system.

None of these outcomes make us safer.

Oklahoma has incarcerated citizens at a higher rate than any other state for nearly 30 years.

If this trend continues, Oklahoma will need to spend 800 million in the next two years to build new prisons.

As your representative, I plan to put forth legislation to free your hard-earned tax dollars from being spent locking up non-violent offenders in FOR PROFIT PRIVATE PRISONS. Forcing these offender's children into our overburdened, understaffed DHS system.

Rehabilitation programs have a significantly lower cost to taxpayers than long-term incarceration and have shown an 80% success rate in Oklahoma.

We must work to create a fair and fiscally responsible justice system.

 

 

Healthcare and Mental Health Services:

Budget cuts to treatment dollars, limited proven mental health interventions, closure of treatment facilities and lack of access to health insurance have devastated Oklahoma’s health care system. Refusing the Medicaid expansion was a huge mistake for Oklahoma.

Good mental and physical health is critical to our children's success in school and life and makes our schools safer.

Students who receive social, emotional, and mental health support perform better academically and classroom behavior, learning ability and students’ sense of well-being improve. Healthcare and mental health programs are both a service and a commodity and I believe it can be reconciled to provide accessible, affordable quality care.

Let US look to states with successful Medicaid expansion that has resulted in increased coverage and economic gains for their citizens as a blueprint for Oklahoma.



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