Gov. Stitt Speaks at ‘Ponca Politics’, Tours Historic Poncan Theater
Mike Seals - June 26, 2020 3:07 pm
(PHOTO: Rep. Pfeiffer, Sen. Bill Coleman, Gov. Kevin Stitt, Rep. Ken Luttrell)
Governor Kevin Stitt spoke Friday morning at the ‘Ponca Politics’ meeting hosted by the Ponca City Area Chamber of Commerce.
During his remarks, the governor thanked the mayor and city commissioners of Ponca City for the hard work they’ve done during the pandemic and announced that, as part of the CARES Act funding received by the State, the City of Ponca City was given a check for $2.3 million as reimbursement for COVID-19-related expenses suffered by the city.
He also spoke out against State Question 802, Medicare Expansion. His primary problem with the question, which appears on the ballot next Tuesday, is the question requires the addition of the expansion to the State Constitution.
He explained that, for now, the State’s contribution to the expansion would be approximately $200 million dollars … dollars the State doesn’t have with the current and recent price of oil, and the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this time, he said, the Federal government would be paying about $800 million dollars toward the expansion, but the federal government can, unilaterally, change that amount without notice. If that happened, and SQ 802 passes and modifies the State Constitution, the State of Oklahoma would have to, constitutionally, make up any shortfall, and, that money would have to come from somewhere; education, public safety, DHS, etc., because he is firmly against raising taxes in any form for any reason.
He said that he, personally, would be voting against the Medicare expansion.
After his short speech, the Governor took questions from the audience. The subjects of educational disparity and a perception of inequality and moving forward on diversity and equality were discussed.
One attendee told the governor that, although he appreciated the government stimulus check he had received, he wanted it to go to help someone else, someone who had a greater need than him, and offered to give the cash from the check to Governor Stitt. Stitt had one of his assistants talk to the man about the most appropriate way to return the money, if in fact that was his intent.
The Governor attended a luncheon hosted by the Ponca City Area Chamber of Commerce immediately following the meeting.
After the luncheon, the Governor gave an exclusive interview at the studios of KPNC and KLOR, with State Senator Bill Coleman conducting the interview.
That interview is attached to this posting.
Following the interview, Governor Stitt toured the Poncan Theater with Executive Director Christopher Radaker-James.
(PHOTO: State Senator Bill Coleman interviews Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt in the KPNC Studio)
BELOW: Recorded Interview by Sen. Coleman of Gov. Stitt, in two parts.