Casey Murdock

 

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
City," said Murdock. "We need a strong, experienced leader who can hit the ground running on day one to ensure Northwest Oklahoma is
well-represented at the Capitol. Whether we are talking about protecting our natural resources, strengthening our schools, or encouraging economic growth, we need strong leadership in the State
Senate."

Murdock has deep roots in Northwest Oklahoma, where he has spent his
life working in agriculture. His great-grandfather settled in the Panhandle more than a decade before statehood, with the Murdock family
remaining in the area for five generations and counting.

"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,"
said Murdock. "I know what it means to support Northwest Oklahoma by funding our schools, encouraging investment in our economy, and
upholding the conservative values we have shared for generations."

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
Panhandle.

Murdock said one of his top priorities in the Senate will be
supporting public education so Northwest Oklahoma schools can continue their excellent work of educating area students.

"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
state," Murdock said. "We have programs that give incentives for businesses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, but we canít forget about rural
Oklahoma. I want to encourage businesses to grow and expand here so we have more jobs and the increased quality of life that comes with a
booming economy."

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 casey.murdock@okhouse.gov.

 

 

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.

 

 

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