Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oklahoma House Democrats announce agenda

House Democrat Agenda

Wednesday, January 14, 2009; Posted 4.14 pm (CDT)

House Democrats revealed their agenda Wednesday. They say the easiest issue they'll have when dealing with Republicans will be some basic budgeting, and the most difficult issue will be autism coverage.

"You're still going to see that we still firmly believe that we want to provide the coverage for those autistic children and their families," says Democrat Minority Leader Rep. Danny Morgan, D-District 32.

House Democrats had several major topics when revealing their agenda, moving from insurance coverage to green energy.

"We think Oklahoma needs to be on the forefront of that," says Morgan. "You're going to hear a lot from this caucus about green energy."

Of course education is a centerpiece Democrats say needs sufficient funding.

"We think it's not only a right but a responsibility of us as policy makers to provide a quality education for every child in the state of Oklahoma," says Morgan.

The House minority leader says clean and fair elections will be a bullet point they'll take to the house this year by aiming to eliminate straight-party voting.

"We've continuously heard the last two elections some confusion by the voters," says Morgan. "We think it's best if we just completely do away with the straight-party system and mark each of the squares for each of the candidates that you want to vote for."

Unlike many Republicans, Democrats say with more than 300 million dollars less to work with, they currently stand firmly against further tax cuts, and if they are feasible, to start by making it easier to afford basic needs.

"If they want to talk about tax cuts, then I think that would be the place to start would be to remove the tax on groceries and over-the-counter drugs, but it remains to be seen whether they'll actually move on that or not," says Rep. Wallace Collins, D-District 45.

Democrats also touched on the crisis being seen with long-term senior care and making sure retraining options are available for displaced workers.

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