In a twenty-plus year civilian career in front line health care delivery serving both rural and urban Oklahoma, I have seen the level of overall health of our citizens decline significantly. Our state has become known for being at or near the top of the national lists in the rates of obesity, tobacco use, teen pregnancy and our lifespan expectancy is dropping. Much of this is related to limited or poor access to basic health care and health maintenance, a problem which must be addressed. I am proud to have been a circulator of the State Question 802 petition last year and I am an adamant proponent of the full Medicaid expansion. I also strongly support preserving the provisions delineated in the Affordable Care Act intended to reign in insurance industry abuses. As a consumer, I know what it is like to be relegated to limited insurance selection availability. I learned that it is imperative to have competition in the market place to help contain cost of individual policies. Having been a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, I am a strong advocate for expanding the role of Advanced Practice Nursing professionals and all other mid-level professional practitioners in under-served neighborhoods and communities throughout our district and state. I support the advancement of medical marijuana research and its access to appropriate patient populations. It is my intention to address and improve policies regarding health conditions which are not curable and are predicted to worsen in the coming years, specifically Alzheimer's disease.
Without the wherewithal, any concept of liberty is purely academic. Ensuring future prosperity of all citizens is a moral imperative that begins with a committed investment in primary and secondary education. I seek sustained improvement of public education beginning with funding to a level adequate to sustain all 512 Oklahoma school districts. Charter schools as with private schools are available alternatives to public institutions, however, I am opposed to subsidizing private education with taxpayer funds. I will seek to reverse the systematic defunding of public education and move it back toward its 2008 levels. It will be my goal to increase compensation for public school teachers to a level competitive with other states in our region and commensurate with level of advanced education. Significant cost reduction must be demonstrated by the proponents of district consolidation to be viable for my consideration.
As a U.S. Navy Veteran, my quest to ensure that all who served receive all benefits to which they are entitled is not negotiable. I intend to seek all possible avenues to incentivize the acceptance by all for-profit health care providers and facilities of Tri-Care for all veterans and military retirees. I am stalwartly opposed to any effort to privatize the Veterans Administration and the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs. My chief priority will be to address the suicide rate among Oklahoma's veteran community.
I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a "fiscal conservative" or a "fiscal liberal." There are only those who are fiscally responsible and those who are not. It has been clearly demonstrated over the past decade that cutting taxes does NOT increase revenue. Our state cannot withstand repeated annual revenue failures and budget shortfalls that adversely impact core services. Failure to pay the state’s bills constitutes dereliction of duty of those elected to represent and lead. In addition to restoring the Gross Production Tax to its pre-cut level of seven percent, I will commit to seeking a long-term strategy to expand the state’s revenue base and lower the overall rate.
Criminal Justice Reform
As of June 2018, Oklahoma incarcerates more of its citizens per capita than any other jurisdiction ON THE PLANET! This is unacceptable. It is my intent to disincentivize the use of private prisons. I will advocate for the decriminalization of low level narcotic offenses and place them under the purview of community mental health. Given that strictly from a legal cost perspective, death penalty cases cost four times more than non-death penalty cases, I will also work to end the death penalty in Oklahoma.
Environment & Energy
I support all available avenues to move Oklahoma away from its dependency on fossil fuels. I also support tax credits for solar and wind alternatives. I oppose all measures, executive and legislative, to override municipal ordinances banning drilling operations within incorporated limits. I support a total ban on injection well disposal of out-of-state waste water.