Columns/Opinions

Wed
17
Jan
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EPA Urges Home Radon Tests this January for National Radon Action Month

WASHINGTON (January 11, 2018) — Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that causes cancer, can build up to unsafe levels in any home at any time of year. With many Americans spending more time inside their homes during January, however, there is no better time to make sure our homes are radon-free. That is why EPA starts every new year encouraging Americans to get their homes tested for radon.

“If a high radon level is found, the good news is that this serious environmental risk can be reduced by using simple, proven techniques comparable to the cost of other minor home repair or improvement projects,” said Bill Wehrum, Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

 

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Wed
10
Jan
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The Economic Boost

By: Congressman Tom Cole

When the American people elected President Trump and a Republican majority, they expected big things in 2017. This past year brought with it several positive changes because the Trump administration and Congress have been focused on the American people’s priorities. One of the biggest accomplishments was the first major tax reform in more than three decades. And that’s just in year one. The American economy has grown tremendously since the beginnings of President Trump’s first days in office, and the growth trend seems likely to continue into 2018.

 

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Wed
03
Jan
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A Productive Year

By Congressman Tom Cole

When the year 2017 began, Congress opened the new Congressional Session with the Trump Administration to “Make America Great Again.” As the year comes to a close, Congress and the Trump Administration can be proud of what they have accomplished together. Under its first year with President Trump, Congress has accomplished many of its legislative goals, and the President has fulfilled a number of his campaign promises. Although there is much work to be done in the coming year, we can reflect on this year’s legislative accomplishments with a sense of success.

Wed
27
Dec
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Oklahoma State Senate

State Senator Chris Kidd

Senate District 31

(Comanche, Cotton, Jefferson, Stephens and Tillman counties) December 22, 2017

The state’s financial tide may finally be turning. The State Board of Equalization released their budget estimate for next year and revenues are increasing. Gov. Fallin will have $6.9 billion ($900 million more than last year) for her budget proposal that she will present to the legislature on the first day of session, which is Monday, Feb. 5.

The Board will present the actual numbers to the legislature in February. Those are the figures we will use to craft the budget.

 

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Wed
13
Dec
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Working to Get More Tax Dollars to Teachers

By Governor Mary Fallin

Teacher salaries need to be increased in the state of Oklahoma. This is a simple fact, especially as we compare our teacher compensation to surrounding states. It’s also obvious when school districts from other states come to our state to hold recruiting drives, such as the Dallas Independent School District’s three-day job fair in Oklahoma City the first week of this month.

For the past two years I have called for a teacher pay increase in my State of the State addresses, but there has not been a solution to this challenge. We must address this issue if we expect to continue to be a prosperous state.

 

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Wed
06
Dec
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Enforcing and Reforming Our Immigration System

By: Congressman Tom Cole

In America, we are fortunate to be a land of opportunity and to be one that is shaped by immigrants from all over the world. Likewise, law and justice also shapes our nation. Many immigrants have entered the United States legally and have thrived. In recent years though, our nation has been home to millions of illegal immigrants, and the laws that are supposed to protect our borders have failed to do so.

Wed
06
Dec
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For the Children: A Children’s Agenda for the New Year

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

For those who are involved in politics and policy at the Oklahoma State Capitol, 2017 feels like the year that will never end. Special legislative sessions, elusive budget deals, and an early start to political campaigning have given this year an endless “Ground Hog Day” vibe that makes it seem like 2018 exists only in the distant future.

Nevertheless, the New Year is practically here, and it may surprise the public to learn that the bill-filing deadline for the 2018 legislative session is this Friday, December 8. Bills filed before Friday do not necessarily need to be in their detailed, final form; most are “shell bills” that simply identify a topic. In that spirit, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy has identified five priority areas we hope our lawmakers make the focal point of their legislation.

 

Wed
29
Nov
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North Korea Belongs on the List

By: Congressman Tom Cole

In late 1987, a Korean Air flight traveling from Seoul, South Korea to Baghdad, Iraq, was bombed by North Korean agents killing all 115 people on board. This event, evidence of clear terrorist motives, prompted the Reagan Administration to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Today, the United States still grapples with the often unpredictable and volatile nature of North Korea and the regime of its dictator, Kim Jong-un. And earlier this week, President Trump made the decision to re-list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, and promoted a new wave of tougher sanctions on the hermit state.

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Wed
29
Nov
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A Working Tax System

By: Congressman Tom Cole

When President Ronald Reagan implemented a sweeping reform of our nation’s tax system in 1986, it helped millions of Americans from different walks of life save money and kicked off an era of strong economic growth. A little more than three decades later, our tax code has become severely outdated. For the last several weeks, the House has been working through the legislative process to craft a bill aimed at fixing the current tax code and creating one that will support the individual, families and American businesses – something that is long overdue. Last week, the House was able to accomplish the first step in major tax reform through the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), which will give Americans the opportunity to keep more of their hard-earned pay.

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Tue
21
Nov
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Hidden Figures Author Shetterly Says History ‘Cultivates Not Just Young Readers, But Also The Next Generation Of Engaged Citizens.’

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov 14 - Award-winning Hidden Figures author Margot Lee Shetterly didn’t start out as a history buff. But her book, a number one New York Times bestseller, revealed an innate passion for history and a knack for telling compelling stories about the events that have shaped our country-- and our lives.

Her most recent accolade was the 2017 Grateful American Book Prize for her true tale about the early days of NASA. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Agency hired African American mathematicians to be human “computers” at its facility in Hampton, VA. But they were given menial positions as pencil pushers, a fate they overcame at a time when the inequities of racism was rampant. Hidden Figures shows that the women whose stories Shetterly reveals, proved they were as capable, and maybe even more so--than the next man--for the task of catapulting the first astronauts into outer space.

 

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