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Oklahoma House Democrats will be relevant, minority leader says

Oklahoma House Democrats number 29, their lowest number in state history in the 101-member chamber.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: December 17, 2012
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/articleid/3737962/1/pictures/1908358">Photo - Rep. T.W. Shannon is sworn in as House speaker-elect on Nov. 14 at the state Capitol. Shannon, 34, will be the first black House speaker and also the youngest to serve in the leadership post. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives
Rep. T.W. Shannon is sworn in as House speaker-elect on Nov. 14 at the state Capitol. Shannon, 34, will be the first black House speaker and also the youngest to serve in the leadership post. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives

Funding the state's infrastructure, roads and bridges, and especially a way to distribute water from eastern Oklahoma to western parts of the state and other areas, is another key objective, Inman said.

Democrats also will be trying to improve the state's health care by illustrating that Fallin made a mistake in rejecting proposals to expand the Medicaid health care program to an estimated 150,000 uninsured individuals in Oklahoma and establishing an online marketplace for the uninsured to shop for health insurance, Inman said. House Democrats want Fallin to reverse her decisions, he said.

“We believe the governor made a terrible mistake based upon politics not based upon policy and we're going to work diligently to show her the facts and the people of Oklahoma the facts that allowing our tax dollars to be used to spend on somebody else's health care in another state is bad policy for Oklahoma when we've got one out of every five citizens without health care,” Inman said.

House Democrats will work with Republicans to try to find funding to make repairs to the crumbling state Capitol and to construct a new building for the state medical examiner's office, he said.

But they again will oppose a bond issue to pay for the improvements, he said.

“We think that the Legislature ought to pay as you go instead of driving our state into further debt,” Inman said.


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