Murdock announces for Senate
Northwest Oklahoma Casey Murdock announced today that he is running for the senate seat vacated by former Senator Bryce Marlatt.
"Without a voice in the State Senate, our part of the
state is weaker and more vulnerable to being overlooked by the
politicians in Oklahoma
Murdock has deep roots in Northwest Oklahoma, where
he has spent his
"I canít say enough about how important it is for us
to be represented by someone who shares our values and understands our
way of life,"
Murdock earned his bachelorís degree in agricultural
business from Panhandle State University in 1992. He then farmed in
Cimarron County for ten years, simultaneously working at a cattle
feedyard. Today, he farms and runs a cow/calf operation and raises his
family in the
Murdock said one of his top priorities in the Senate
"Our schools are filled with talented professionals who are devoted to working hard on behalf of their students," said Murdock. "Sometimes the folks at the Capitol donít give them the support they deserve, and I hope to change that. As a former school board member, I am committed to adequate funding our schools, quality pay for our teachers, and the best education possible for our students."
Murdock said another priority will be encouraging investment in Northwest Oklahoma.
"Agriculture and energy are the engines that drive
our economy, and I want to encourage those industries to invest more in
our part of the
Murdock said itís also important to promote and defend
November 2, 2017
Budget Plan Gives Teachers a Pay Raise, Funds Healthcare
By Rep. Casey Murdock
House Speaker Charles McCall alongside the governor and the state Senate leader this morning laid out a budget plan that if passed with replace funds to three Oklahoma healthcare agencies and give teachers and state employees a much needed pay raise.
The plan includes raising the tax on a package of cigarettes by $1.50, raising the tax on gasoline by 6 cents, revising taxes on alcohol and restoring the earned income tax credit for Oklahomaís lowest earners. Together, the revenue will restore the $215 million missing currently from the budgets of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Department of Human Services; plus, it will fund a $3,000 teacher pay raise and give state employees a $1,000 pay raise.
Without the revenue, cuts to the three healthcare agencies mentioned above will put programs in danger that serve children, senior citizens, those who are disabled and those who pose a danger to themselves or others because they lack adequate mental health care. Without these services, we risk greater healthcare costs in the long run and increased incarceration rates for those who canít get alternative services.
There has not been an increase to the minimum teacher salary schedule since 2008. Weíre losing highly qualified teachers to surrounding states where they can draw more pay, and our classrooms are being filled with teachers who have received emergency certifications instead of the education and training provided those who go the traditional certification route.
State employees havenít had a pay raise in 11 years. These are people who provide necessary services such as health department inspections, educational support services, transportation, public safety and more.
While this budget plan certainly isnít perfect, itís the best compromise we could make at a time where Oklahoma is still climbing out of the recession and recovering from the depression of the energy sector. This plan will put us on firmer financial footing as we move into the future, and it will ensure healthcare services can continue for those who need them most.
Casey Murdock serves District 61 of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He can be reached by phone at (405) 557-7384 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 26, 2017
Weíre in week three since the governor called a special session of the Legislature, and weíre only slightly further along in budget negotiations that we were in February.
The problem really is that a majority of the Legislature believe a limited amount of revenue should be raised to fill the $215 million budget hole left by the state Supreme Courtís ruling that the Smoking Cessation Act of 2017 was unconstitutional. The act would have raised the fee on a pack of cigarettes by $1.50, with the revenue going primarily to three healthcare agencies. Without the funding, we risk losing senior nutrition programs, childcare supplements, help for disabled adults, programs that allow the aging to remain in their homes and others.
Most lawmakers in rural Oklahoma know the hardships our rural hospitals and nursing homes face on a daily basis to provide Medicaid services and to keep the doors open to those in need. We want to help them. But, any plan to raise revenue takes a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of the Legislature. This requirement was put in place by a vote of the people in 1992. It keeps the Legislature from raising taxes without the consent of the taxpayer. This is a good thing. But, in the House of Representatives, the two-thirds majority equals 76 votes. Republicans hold 72 seats. The one tax increase many Oklahomans have said they would support is the cigarette tax. A majority of House Republicans have said they would support this, and a number of Democrats have said they would support it. But, the Democrats will not support it as a stand-alone vote. They want to tie it to an increase in gross production tax, an elimination of sales tax credits for wind, an increase fuel tax, an increase in the income tax for high-income earners, an addition of taxes on a number of services not currently taxes. This is a lot of tax increases that the majority of conservative Republicans just will not support.
So we stand at an impasse.
Thankfully, the speaker recessed the House to a call of the chair on the third day of the special session, meaning taxpayers will not be charged the $30,000 a day it costs for the special session while budget negotiations continue between House and Senate leadership and the governorís office.
We initially were told to be ready to return to session Monday afternoon this week, but later were told no deal had been reached. So we wait.
In the meantime, Iíve attended every caucus meeting and expressed the wishes of my constituents in Northwest Oklahoma. Iíve attended policy working groups to make sure we are moving in a positive direction for the future of Oklahoma once we are past this current budget impasse. I continue to work every day for the people who live in my district. I continue to be a small-government conservative who wants to keep necessary core government services running but who refuses to bloat government at the cost of the taxpayer. Iíll keep you updated on our progress.