Democratic Leader Blasts Republicans

OKLAHOMA CITY—New budget numbers for the state show Republicans have failed to deliver on their economic promises to voters, according to Incoming Senate Democratic Leader Andrew Rice.

Earlier this week, the Board of Equalization said the state is facing a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion. And a report out last week from the National Conference of State Legislatures said Oklahoma is facing the worst budget situation in the country, Rice said.

“In the years leading up to the historic takeover of the legislature by Republicans in both the House and the Senate, we heard many promises about how much better life would be in Oklahoma if Republicans were in charge,” Rice said.  “They promised us a booming economy, better paying jobs, more affordable healthcare, and a rush of new corporations into Oklahoma.  The Republicans have failed considerably in these areas, and the proof is in the numbers.”

“My question to Republican politicians is simple, “what happened to the thousands of better paying jobs you promised our citizens?  What happened to the booming economy you confidently promised you would deliver to Oklahomans?  What happened to making health care more affordable and protecting services upon which every Oklahoman depends?

Rice said under Republican control: a program that provided hot meals to Oklahoma’s elderly has ended, leaving thousands of Oklahoma seniors without food; public safety has been compromised because the Oklahoma Highway Patrol will have to cut the number of OHP officers policing  highways and interstates; a record number of Oklahomans have applied for Soonercare for their children with no money to cover them; and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is saying they will have to release criminals back onto the streets long before they have served their full sentences. And the crisis for our public schools is about to get dramatically worse.

“The Republican leadership has failed on the one policy promise which most Republican candidates have run on this decade: economic growth and prosperity,” Rice said.  “Oklahoma’s economy is in a free-fall and the right-wing Republican economic agenda has proven that it can do little to reverse it.”