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Stock markets have slumped in recent months over a variety of concerns, from President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China to worries about an economic slowdown and rising interest rates.

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Last year was a busy and deeply rewarding year for the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA). The primary mission of OICA is to advocate for children in the State of Oklahoma and to ensure that laws passed and policies implemented by governmental agencies are beneficial for all our ch…

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The holidays for some can bring on a great deal of stress. Whether it is scrambling to get last-minute presents, meal preparation for a large amount of people, or an every day burden of depression worsening during a “cheerful” time of year. Stress from the aforementioned triggers can greatly…

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With the holiday season coming to a close, those who work in and around the State Capitol will now heavily focus on what lies in wait: the 2019 regular session of the Oklahoma Legislature. The work will continue at a furious pace, with our next deadline falling on December 28 to have languag…

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If you’ve been reading the page 1 stories written by James Coburn in the last few Saturday issues of The Edmond Sun, you’ve read about the importance of a place called HOPE.

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As we enter the week before Christmas, I would like to take time to reflect on the many people who have worked so hard to make a difference this year for the children of our state through the efforts of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA).  I know I will forget many, and I apolo…

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As Congress continues to finish its work this year, I am encouraged that lawmakers in both chambers recently finalized and approved legislation that is vital to the success of our nation’s farmers and ranchers. Introduced under various titles over the years but known generally as the Farm Bi…

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T’was the fourteenth night before Christmas and all through the house the college students were stirring, similar to a mouse. The papers were due, coffee was roasting and we all had to study for our finals that were approaching.

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Colton Danker is a graphic design student at the University of Central Oklahoma who was given the task in his character design class to create a political cartoon of recent events. Danker said his political cartoon illustrates the recent bomb threat portraying President Trump blaming the med…

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While much has been accomplished this year, there are still several items left to complete. As the current Congress concludes, lawmakers must come together to finish the remaining work.

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This week, families will come together from near and far to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and plenty of pie. While we are surrounded by loved ones at the Thanksgiving dinner table, there are countless nonpartisan causes — aside from the taboo dinner table topic of politics — worthy …

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WASHINGTON, DC — A new poll released today by FWD.us shows Oklahoma voters across the political spectrum support bold reforms to the state’s criminal justice system. Four out of five registered voters in Oklahoma believe it is important to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated.

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University of Central Oklahoma graphic design students Nik Long and Elisa Martinez took on a project recently to create an editorial cartoon. Long said his cartoon (above) illustrates a little about the current political landscape and the candidate choices we have for the upcoming state gove…

Representative government doesn’t work when we let politicians spend future generations’ money. It’s taxation without representation. It’s also something we do every day in the United States and in Oklahoma.

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Oklahoma higher education is a notorious devourer of cash. That’s why new University of Oklahoma President Jim Gallogly is such a breath of fresh air.

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When any patient goes to the doctor, they can — and should — expect to receive the gold standard of treatment; however, one 40-year-old law in desperate need of modernization is preventing doctors from providing the highest level of care to every patient that walks through their door.  A bil…

OKLAHOMA CITY — A survey conducted by Professional Oklahoma Educators indicates that almost 80 percent of teachers, administrators and support staff do not support SQ 801, which calls for a vote of the people on the November ballot to amend the state constitution. If passed, SQ 801 would all…

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The Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate, which have largely centered on decades-old allegations of sexual assault, have led many Americans to come forward and share their own stories about past traumas.  This ongoing national conversation has opened old wounds and triggere…

When I took the helm at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA), the board of directors made it clear the mission of our organization needed to move back to our roots. Our mission is “creating awareness, taking action, and supporting policy to improve the health, safety, and well-be…

OKLAHOMA CITY — Like may golden-agers, retired Oklahoma teachers are experiencing difficult times. Exponentially rising health care costs leave many seniors with the hopeless decision of deciding between prescription drugs, groceries and utilities. 

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In an Aug. 11 editorial, the Oklahoman newspaper argued for greater accountability for some parents who accept free school lunches for their children. “A policy that tells parents they're free to freeload comes with predictable costs to all taxpayers,” the paper writes. The authors point to …

My grandmother always told me to value your teachers and mentors, because they will give you the tools you need to achieve your dreams. My granny was an inspiration to me and saved me from myself. She taught me that I had control over my own destiny. When she died her lessons became all the …

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As we at the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) work to help reform and improve public policy, one of the most frustrating things we hear is the mistaken assumption that children cannot or should not try to change the world. Young people, some say, should “wait their turn” to speak…

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For decades, the United States has grappled with the often contentious and theocratic regime of Iran. Iran is not a friend to the United States. It is a nation well known for funding, training and harboring terrorists, and often, the United States has been the target of such activity. Under …

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The state’s largest-ever teacher pay raise has boosted morale in school districts across the state but has had little immediate effect on Oklahoma’s severe teacher shortage, according to a new survey from the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.

Last Friday was the Second Annual Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) Heroes Ball, and it was a huge success!  I want to first thank all the volunteers and staff members who made it possible to have nearly 400 people come together and recognize real-life champions for children in ou…

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Black people are at our strongest when we are in groups. There is a sort of energy that passes between our people, when we stand together in the face of tragedy. It is all too familiar and far too common, but it is certainly there. As I stood and watched my people set up before the rally in …

In a recent interview, self-described socialist and congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tried to explain away low unemployment and recast world history in her own image.

Imagine being asked to oversee negotiations in a labor dispute, but you have no background in labor relations. Imagine having to fund programs and departments from a multimillion dollar budget without any experience in business, accounting or finance. What if you had to decide issues facing …

This week at the White House, President Trump held the second annual ‘Made in America’ showcase. Representing Oklahoma at the showcase was Round House Jeans, a company who’s been making jeans in Shawnee for the last 110 years. But that’s just one of many companies that could have been in att…

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It is not a secret that Oklahoma has challenges when it comes to healthcare. The United Health Foundation ranks Oklahoma as the sixth least healthy state in the nation. Their report cites the limited availability of primary care physicians (like family doctors) as one of Oklahoma’s chief obs…

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Since the founding of our country, American politics has cultivated a difference of opinions. Even our Founding Fathers disagreed on issues while writing our Constitution. But the rise of the 24-hour news cycle has had a tremendous impact on our nation’s politics.

Nearly three months ago, I said incoming University of Oklahoma President Jim Gallogly was a terrific hire. Since then, Gallogly has focused on the core work of a university, showing a relentless dedication to what’s best for students and their families.

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It has been quite a busy week in Washington, D.C., and despite the fervor and fireworks on Capitol Hill, Congress has accomplished a number of legislative items amongst the debate on immigration. Although that debate is still occurring, some of the fundamental work that Congress is obligated…

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What seemed to be once impossible, has finally come to fruition. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week. For the first time in history, a U.S. President and a North Korean leader met in an official capacity in an effort to strengt…

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The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is excited to announce that we have posted our 2018 Child Well-being Legislative Report Card to our website at OICA.org. The Report Card tracks how Governor Mary Fallin and every Oklahoma state senator and representative performed on behalf of…

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In recent years, our country has been ravaged by a deadly epidemic that is destroying communities and families alike. The opioid crisis has been a devastating battle for Americans young and old, and combatting this epidemic has become one of the most significant challenges facing families an…

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program serves residents in nursing homes, assisted living centers and residential care homes. An Ombudsman helps to improve the quality of care and life for the residents. As a friendly visitor and advocate, the volunteer has many opportunities to be of service …

With global threats from our near competitors and great-state adversaries, improving our military’s readiness could not come at a more critical time.  Congress is committed to funding improved maintenance, readiness, and personnel accounts while providing key oversight on near and long-term …

The United States is first and foremost a nation of laws and our laws must be followed. I understand and appreciate that the strength of our nation is dependent upon the contributions made by individuals. As Americans, we celebrate that we are a nation of people from unique and diverse backg…

The teacher walk out last month, I believe, taught all those involved many things. As a senator, I was very appreciative of all those who took the time to come to my office to exercise their constitutionally-given right to come to their house, the state Capitol, and express their positions w…

Every year, Congress is responsible for establishing legislation through its Appropriations Committees that will fund the federal government for the fiscal year. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I know that the committee is diligent to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used …

Throughout the country, our road, waterway, and rail infrastructures are in desperate need of repairs and upgrades. I want to highlight one of the greatest infrastructure projects in need in our state: the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS).  MKARNS brings in millions o…

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