Senate Dems respond to State of the State address

Mike Seals - February 1, 2021 10:57 pm

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

“Today’s State of the State Address makes clear what the Senate Democrats have long been advocating: fighting the COVID-19 remains our state’s most urgent priority. This is critical to the health and safety of all Oklahomans and to jumpstart our state’s economy.

“The governor and the Legislature must ensure our state agencies have all necessary resources to defeat the pandemic. We need to continue funding personal protective equipment (PPE), testing, and vaccine distribution. Oklahomans are doing their part, but there is still much work to be done to get our positive test rate under control and to reduce the number of hospitalizations.

“Getting the pandemic under control is critical to efforts to safely reopen our public schools. We all agree students learn best in the classroom, but we need to make sure our school districts have the funding necessary to protect students, teachers, support staff, and their families.

“We continue to be concerned with the process through which the governor is implementing a managed care system for the state’s Medicaid program. Converting Medicaid delivery to managed care is a $2.2 billion endeavor, yet there has been very little input from the Legislature and from the medical community. It is especially troubling this process, which is a major change to our state’s health care system, is being rushed through as our state’s hospitals and medical providers are on the front lines treating Oklahomans with COVID-19.

“As we predicted when state agency management was consolidated under control of the governor, this structure leads to less collaboration with the Legislature, which is a co-equal branch of government, and less input from subject matter experts when major policy decisions are made. The managed care implementation is just one of several examples of this.

“Oklahoma faces many challenges which must be addressed this session. Senate Democrats look forward to working with our colleagues in the majority and the governor on behalf of the people of Oklahoma.”

For more information, contact: Sen. Kay Floyd at 405-521-5610, or email [email protected]

 

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