Senate Democrats aren’t serious about making Oklahoma a more attractive place for jobs and businesses, Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee said Tuesday.
Coffee made the statement in response to the Senate Democrats’ release of their so-called “responsibility and accountability” small business plan on Tuesday.
“Oklahoma needs a whole loaf of economic reforms to make Oklahoma attractive for job-growth, and the Senate Democrats offered a thimbleful of crumbs today. Senate Democrats clearly aren’t serious about attracting new jobs and businesses or keeping the jobs and businesses we already have,” Coffee stated.
Coffee expressed concern that Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Laster, D-Shawnee, claimed that there is no lawsuit abuse in Oklahoma.
“One of the reasons Oklahoma ranks 49th in the country in the number of doctors is because of lawsuit abuse. Oklahomans face rising insurance premiums because of lawsuit abuse. This shows just how out-of-touch Senate Democrats are with the people of Oklahoma,” he said.
Coffee called the Senate Democrats’ plan for tax credits for small businesses that pay tuition for their employees a farce.
“The two best tax reforms Oklahoma could pass to help small businesses would be to eliminate the death tax and reduce our high income tax rate. Senate Democrats didn’t say a word about whether they would support this much-needed tax relief,” Coffee said.
Coffee noted that Senate Democrats’ have proposed expanding the government-run premium assistance health insurance program without a means to pay for it.
“With the current tobacco tax shortfall, the existing premium assistance program is already facing a funding shortage. How can Senate Democrats pay for the expansion of this program unless they plan to increase taxes or cut funding to public safety, roads and bridges, and education?” Coffee said.
“After one-hundred consecutive years in control of the Oklahoma Senate, it is time for the Senate Democrats’ to take responsibility for their failed economic policies,” stated Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “The Senate Democrats’ policies have given the people of Oklahoma low wages, high poverty rates, and slow population growth. It is time for the liberal Democrat leadership to be held accountable for this.”