Lawmakers and protesters react to the State of Address
LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - At today’s state of address, the big topics were tax cuts, teacher pay raises, and permanent gender-altering surgeries. Local state representatives and state senators gave their opinions about what Stitt had to say
Governor Stitt said he’s proposing an executive budget to bring Oklahoma’s education system out of the bottom and into the top 10.
He wants to have an Innovation School Fund, the most expansive reading initiative in the nation, and expand concurrent enrollment for high schoolers. Stitt also wants performance-based pay raises for teachers,
State Representative Trey Caldwell said he agrees with Stitt’s concept of merit base pay for teachers. He said he believes in rewarding teachers for continuing their education.
“I have had a plan for two years now to increase pay for nationally board-certified teachers up to $10,000 and I am running that bill again this year,” Caldwell said.
Stitt also talked about his plans for tax cuts. Senator Chris Kidd said he thinks the cut would be great, especially on groceries.
“It’s been a lot of talk about our grocery taxes, I think that would be great I think we have to be careful with our small towns, many Oklahoma of their city taxes and budgets are from that. As long as there are things to protect let’s get rid of that grocery tax,” Kidd said.
Permanent gender-altering surgeries for minors have been a big topic in the state of Oklahoma. It showed today at the capitol, with at least 100 protestors outside the gallery.
State Senator Jessica Garvin said there is data that shows people regret these decisions when they get older, and they are trying to help prevent that.
“We don’t allow minors to smoke, that affects their bodies. So why would we allow them to make life-altering decisions, or changes to their bodies when they’re under 18. I think it’s good policy and I look forward to supporting that as we move through sessions,” Garvin said.
One of the protestors disagrees, they believe taking this away will be more harmful.
“Medically transition people generally live a better life and for us to be taking that away means we are pushing people back into states where they’re hidden, back to where they don’t feel comfortable, back to where they don’t feel the same with themselves,” Indi Waters said.
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