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The McCarville Report
Category archives for: General

Teacher Pay Hikes Proposed

Across-the-board pay hikes for teachers are contemplated: http://newsok.com/across-the-board-pay-raises-sought-for-oklahoma-teachers-as-part-of-new-education-budget-proposal/article/5359408


Ritze: Monument Will Be Repaired, Replaced

House Media Division

Rep. Mike Ritze, who paid for the Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol, released the following statement after the monument was destroyed overnight.

“While I am appalled that someone would go to such lengths to do violence to our Ten Commandments monument, I am not at all shocked. I am dismayed but not discouraged by this act of violence against the monument. This monument represents the values that an overwhelming majority of Oklahomans hold close. We are not going to be bullied; the monument will be repaired and replaced. I trust our law enforcement agencies will quickly apprehend the person or persons responsible for this crime, and those people will be held accountable.”

The monument will be restored using private funds.

Ritze added that the legal argument for the constitutionality of the monument is that:

1.  The Ten Commandments are an important component of the foundation of the laws and legal system of the United States of America and of the State of Oklahoma;

2.  The courts of the United States of America and of various states frequently cite the Ten Commandments in published decisions; and

3.  Acknowledgements of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our nation’s heritage are common throughout America.

House Bill 1330, by Ritze, was enacted in 2009. It notes that “The placement of this monument shall not be construed to mean that the State of Oklahoma favors any particular religion or denomination thereof over others, but rather will be placed on the Capitol grounds where there are numerous other monuments.”


10 Commandments Monument Destroyed By Car

The 10 Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds was destroyed today by a vehicle: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/capitol_report/oklahoma-state-capitol-s-ten-commandments-monument-smashed-to-pieces/article_6f24b2e8-b904-5e9d-90ff-e34e0b778ed3.html

Photo by Pam Pollard

State Chamber Names Jennifer Lepard To Government Affairs Post

jennifer

State Chamber of Oklahoma

The State Chamber of Oklahoma is proud to welcome Jennifer Lepard to its staff of policy experts. She will serve as Vice President of Government Affairs starting October 31.

“Jennifer brings a wealth of knowledge to the State Chamber, especially in the critical area of health care policy,” said State Chamber President and CEO Fred Morgan. “Combined with her expertise in the legislative process, Jennifer strengthens the State Chamber’s voice for business at the State Capitol.”

Lepard will focus on health care and education policy for the State Chamber.

“After years of working in and around the State Capitol, I know that Oklahoma’s business community holds the key to solving many of the state’s most pressing issues,” said Lepard. “I am excited to be part of the State Chamber’s dynamic team working to advance policies that continue Oklahoma’s economic growth and opportunity.”

Lepard received her Master’s in Public Administration and her Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Oklahoma while working for nearly a decade as a Legislative Analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate.  Immediately prior to joining the State Chamber, she worked in private consulting serving clients in the health, energy and education fields. Lepard currently serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Oklahoma where she teaches a graduate level course on health policy.


Political Irony: Figure This One Out

Here’s political irony: the same people who were supporting Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi and Common Core are now attacking Senator Josh Brecheen, claiming he supported her.

Brecheen opposed Barresi’s support of Common Core.

In politics, lobbyists may stand for children, but not always for the elected officials who stood with them. A new commercial by the non-profit organization Stand For Children attacks Brecheen by linking him to Barresi.

The group is reportedly targeting Brecheen for defeat because he authored the repeal of Common Core. Barresi was an ardent supporter of the controversial legislation.
See the commercial here: KXII_10-23-2014_05.27.30 (1)

Mike Reynolds: More Questions On Art Stolen By Nazis

Rep. Mike Reynolds today sent a letter to University of Oklahoma President David Boren, formally asking for the university to clarify the circumstances of Emily Neff’s sudden resignation on Oct. 15, 2014, just one day after Reynolds requested clarifications regarding the university’s public position regarding a case involving an 1886 Camille Pissarro oil painting stolen by Nazis in 1941 from a prominent French family, the Meyers.

“Emily Neff’s sudden resignation on October 15, 2014, just one day after my committee’s inquiries into the museum’s possession of La Bergere, a Pissarro painting stolen by the Nazis in 1941 from the Meyers, certainly raises sufficient concerns for this committee to look into the circumstances of both Emily Neff’s tenure at the Fred Jones Museum and her involvement in this case, as well as the circumstances of her departure,” said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City.

Reynold’s letter further requests that the University of Oklahoma communicates documents pertaining to:

-          Emily Neff’s involvement in the Meyer case while she was the head of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art;

-          The resignations of Emily Neff and of Ghislain d’Humieres, the previous director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, as he resigned less than two months after a lawsuit against the University of Oklahoma was filed on May 9, 2013 by Leone Meyer demanding the restitution of La Bergere;

-          Communications with Ghislain d’Humieres regarding the recommendations from Annette Schlagenhauff, Associated Curator for Research at Indianapolis Museum of Art, who advised the University in 2010 to contact Leone Meyer about La Bergere.

“If reputable museum leaders, such as Emily Neff, are unable to accomplish their professional responsibilities at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the public, including both taxpayers and potential donors, should have significant questions or concerns that need to be addressed and resolved about the viability, credibility and the professional environment of this museum,” Reynolds said. “The very credibility of a flagship public institution of the state is on the line.”


Report Predicts Oklahoma To Be National Economic Growth Leader

A new report by Standard & Poor’s, a national financial research firm, predicts that Oklahoma will be one of four states to lead the nation in economic growth next year. The report forecasts how the national economy is expected to fare through the remainder of this year and into the next. It predicts Oklahoma’s economic output will grow by more than 3.5 percent.

Governor Fallin said the report was another sign that Oklahoma’s economy is once again moving in the right direction and continues to grow.

“This report from Standard & Poor’s is another indication that Oklahoma’s economy is back on track and our families and businesses are doing better,” said Fallin. “Since 2011 we’ve created over 102,000 jobs, seen median household income grow at twice the national average, and replenished the Rainy Day Fund from just $2.03 to over $530 million. Our job now is to continue that forward momentum, and it is great news to see organizations like Standard & Poor’s predicting that Oklahoma will continue to be a leader in economic growth and prosperity.”

For more on this report, click here.


State Signs License Agreement With Chickasaw Nation

Governor Fallin and Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby today announced that the state and the tribe have signed a compact to offer “Chickasaw Nation” license plates to Chickasaw citizens. The photo shows the signing event.

Anoatubby said that many Chickasaw citizens have requested license plates which recognize their tribal citizenship.

“We are very pleased to work with the state to offer Chickasaw Nation license plates,” said Anoatubby. “These tags offer Chickasaw citizens a very visible way to demonstrate their pride in being Chickasaw, while keeping vehicle tag funding for schools, roads, state employee retirement, wildlife conservation and other state programs intact.”

Fallin said the compact is another example of the state of Oklahoma working together with the Chickasaw Nation on a project which benefits both the tribe and the state.

“The Chickasaw Nation and the state of Oklahoma are partners on issues as diverse as health care, transportation and education,” said Fallin. “This is another example of our successful working partnership. We are pleased to be able to now offer Chickasaw license plates for tribal members to showcase their proud heritage.”

Under the compact, Chickasaw tags will be sold exclusively at state-licensed tag agencies across Oklahoma. Chickasaws who want to purchase the tags will present their Chickasaw Nation citizenship card and pay the same fees and taxes any other Oklahoman would pay.

After the transaction, the Chickasaw Nation will issue a rebate for a portion of the fees and taxes to each citizen purchasing a tag.

The Chickasaw Nation has designed the tag and is now working with the Oklahoma Tax Commission to finalize plans for its manufacture.


OPERS Board Secures Fox In ED Position

The board of trustees of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) has selected Joseph A. Fox as its new executive director effective November 1, 2014. The board had previously named Fox as its interim executive director.

Fox fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Tom Spencer who is becoming the executive director of the Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System.

“The OPERS Board is very happy with its selection of Joe as executive director,” said OPERS Board Chair DeWayne McAnally. “The search committee met and discussed the possibilities at length, and after many consultations with outside sources and OPERS staff, Joe became the clear choice.”

Fox has served as general counsel of OPERS since 2005, after serving as legal counsel for the Oklahoma House of Representatives for many years, including general counsel for former Speaker of the House Larry Adair.

McAnally added, “This is a critical time for OPERS as it is focusing on implementing a new defined contribution retirement plan in 2015. The agency needs strong and enduring leadership, and the board feels Joe provides that continuity.”

OPERS serves more than 81,000 active and retired members and manages more than $8.5 billion in assets.


Weston Questions Cox Campaign Time

Republican State Chairman Dave Weston said today that Democrat state superintendent
candidate John Cox has been present at more than 100 campaign events during school time, and questions if he has earned his “$183,000″ compensation package while campaigning.

“John Cox has campaigned continuously for the last year for state superintendent, which has pulled him away from his responsibilities to Peggs Public Schools. It begs the question: What is he getting paid for?,” Weston said.

The state GOP chair said since Cox has not yet responded to an open records request, “we have no way of knowing the nature of his compensation above and beyond the $183,000 package we have recently discovered,” Weston said.

Reps. Todd Thomsen and Lee Denney recently questioned why Cox was paid “nearly twice the state average for administrators,” but the two lawmakers had listed $141,000 as the salary.
Weston claims that after reviewing the contract, the package is closer to $183,000 when counting benefits and retirement contributions. In defense of his salary, Cox has said he performs
multiple jobs in his duties at the K-8 school.


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