Senator Kenneth Corn, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety, said today that comments made by Speaker of the House of Representatives Todd Hiett, after Monday’s meeting of the State Board of Equalization show a lack of commitment to keep the citizens of Oklahoma safe.
“It is evident by the statement released from the Speaker’s office yesterday that Todd Hiett is more interested in garnering press for himself than he is in keeping Oklahomans safe,” Corn said. “That is irresponsible and the people of Oklahoma expect better leadership from elected officials.”
The Poteau Democrat said he was outraged to learn that even after the State Board of Equalization confirmed yesterday there would be a record deposit into the state Rainy Day Fund, Hiett continued his political rhetoric and scare tactics by issuing a statement saying now is not the time to spent additional revenue.
“The correctional officers who go into our prisons everyday and put their lives on the line to keep Oklahoma safe do not need political rhetoric and scare tactics,” Corn said. “They need our help, and they need it now.
I am proud of Governor Henry for his leadership and determination to get this funding crisis resolved now.”
Corn said the safety of our citizens is simply too important to continue to ignore the DOC funding problem.
“Apparently Speaker Hiett does not understand that we are sitting on a ticking time bomb by waiting any longer to address the needs of DOC,” Corn said. “It’s a gamble that our Democratic Governor and the Democratic controlled Senate is not willing to take. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and work to solve the DOC funding crisis and I hope that the Republican controlled House will be willing to come to the table and work for the safety of Oklahomans. However, it is obvious after reading the comments made by Speaker Hiett, he is going to turn his back on this problem just as he did throughout the regular session that ended in late May.”