Columns/Opinions

Wed
16
Aug

North Korea’s Threats

By Congressman Tom Cole

For decades, the United States has grappled with the unpredictable and dangerous regime of the Kim family, from Kim Jong-il to Kim Jongun. The world has witnessed human rights violations, economic hardships and the volatility of the Kim government. Moreover, for years, the United States and its allies have attempted to keep the North Korean government from procuring a nuclear weapon and the means with which to deliver it. However, in recent weeks it has become evident that Kim Jong-un has most likely succeeded in his efforts and probably has the capability of striking the United States with a nuclear weapon.

Wed
16
Aug

For the Children: A “Heroic” Turnout for Oklahoma Children

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

I am happy to report the Heroes Ball, the first gala held by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) in almost a decade, was a huge success. The 400 attendees -- many wearing super-hero themed outfits -- were treated to a wonderful presentation by Dr. Deena Fisher regarding the history of Kate Barnard, the first Commissioner of Charities and Corrections for the state of Oklahoma who was elected in 1907. We also heard remarks from Steven Novick, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the Terry D. Lawsuit, the court case which created OICA, along with comments from Laura Choate, one of our board members and an original plaintiff in that case.

Wed
09
Aug

Walmart Opens Application Period for Nonprofit Grants

Applications begin August 7 for grants from $25,000 to $200,000; deadline August 11

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 4, 2017) — As part of Walmart’s commitment to give back in the communities where its associates live, work and serve customers, the retailer is announcing an opportunity for local nonprofit organizations to apply for Walmart Foundation State Giving grants between $25,000 and $200,000. The Foundation will begin accepting grant applications on Monday, August 7, 2017. The deadline to submit grant requests is Friday, August 11, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. Central time.

The Walmart Foundation supports community engagement programs focusing on the unmet needs of underserved low-income populations. Examples include:

· Career opportunity

· Disaster preparedness

 

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Wed
19
Jul

Agencies Need Better Legislative Oversight

Here’s how politics works. People elect lawmakers to go to the state Capitol to represent their interests. People pay taxes to support government services. Lawmakers decide how much money goes to each service – education, transportation, healthcare, human services, public safety, etc. This gets to be a pretty long list.

While lawmakers give agency heads much discretion over how this funding is spent, not choosing to line-item appropriations, this sometimes gives agency directors too much room to make decisions that may not be in the best interest of the public. With limited legislative oversight, some agency heads show very little respect for lawmakers or the constituents they represent.

 

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Wed
19
Jul

4 tips for understanding mutual fund expenses

OKLAHOMA CITY - U.S. investors have close to $12 trillion socked away in mutual funds, according to the Investment Company Institute. About 44 percent of U.S. households—or roughly 90 million investors—have a mutual fund investment.

Despite a surge of withdrawals during the height of past market uncertainties, mutual funds clearly still remain a popular investment option for many people. If you are selecting a fund, it’s important to understand the costs of investing, which may not always be immediately apparent. The Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants provides these tips for making sense of the price of your mutual fund investments.

Wed
12
Jul

Governor Mary Fallin Seeks Assistance for May Tornadoes, Flooding and Severe Storms

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced the state of Oklahoma has requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government for 16 counties impacted by severe weather that occurred May 16-20.

If approved, the designation would deliver federal funding to assist municipalities, counties and rural electric cooperatives with infrastructure repairs, debris removal, and costs associated with responding to the storm.

 

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Wed
12
Jul

For the Children: Police Athletic League Helping to Make Healthier, Stronger Communities

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

I had the great pleasure of speaking to several young Oklahomans on Monday who are participants in the Norman Police Athletic League (PAL) summer camp. I was asked to address them about activism and how young people can get involved in not only public service, but also how they can make a difference in their communities, their state and our nation.

Too often, young people feel their ideas are disregarded because of their age. I assured them that most elected officials do indeed value the input of their constituents but those citizens need to present thoughtful ideas backed up with facts, not just angry or emotional appeals.

 

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Fri
07
Jul

Budget Challenges

Well, the House reached a budget agreement the last day of the legislative session, which was then approved by the state Senate and signed by the governor, but it’s already being challenged left and right in the state Supreme Court.

The first bill to face a lawsuit was the Smoking Cessation Act of 2017. This act would put a $1.50 “fee” on a pack of cigarettes. Previous bills would have “taxed” a package of cigarettes by that exact amount. Those bills failed to receive the three-fourths majority vote needed to pass in both chambers of the Legislature. The bill that did pass was different than previous versions in that it would have directed more of the fee to education programs aimed at getting people to quit or never start smoking, but that didn’t stop several large tobacco companies and others from filing a lawsuit against it.

 

Wed
28
Jun

For the Children:Youth Programs Can Lead to Future Careers

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

I had the great pleasure last week of visiting a summer youth program at Bridgestone Intermediate School in western Oklahoma City. This group of about thirty students in the 5th and 6th grade was a joy to meet with, and many of them were already expressing an interest in politics. They asked me to share my story with them: how I became a state legislator, a gubernatorial candidate and now the director of OICA. As I related that story, I realized that many of my lifelong passions developed when I was only slightly older than them.

 

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Wed
21
Jun

The US is a Leader in Veterans Funding

By: Tom Cole

Since becoming president, Donald Trump has consistently vowed to rebuild our national defense and to improve the services we render to our veterans. Last week, the House of Representatives took the first step for helping the president make good on that promise. When it comes to funding veterans’ programs, our nation spends more on veterans than any other country in the world. Each year, Congress is responsible for maintaining that funding, and just this past week, the bill to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and military construction was introduced in the House. It includes funding for VA health programs, oversight measures, facility development and construction, as well as funding for the numerous military construction projects across the country.

 

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