CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
State Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, continued his mid-March tradition of providing a yearly donation of $8,241.92 from his legislative salary to the Guthrie-based Crossroads Clinic.
Oklahoma legislators are some of the highest paid part-time legislators in the nation, making more than double the regional average.
Murphey uses the donation to demonstrate that legislators in Oklahoma should not be paid so much more than other legislators in the region and to illustrate the importance of services such as Crossroads.
"In order to reform government, we must cut out wasteful state government spending. I believe most Oklahomans feel it is not a good policy to pay legislators more than double the regional average," Murphey said in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK.
"As legislators we must set the example for the rest of state government and that example will be much stronger if our legislators give up being some of the highest compensated part time legislators in the nation."
Murphey explained that the cost of living in Oklahoma resides at one of the lowest levels in the nation.
"It's wrong to suggest that Oklahoman's should expect to pay less for most other items but must pay much more for their legislators," Murphey said.
The amount donated reflects the difference in legislative pay and the per capita pay in Oklahoma at the time Murphey was elected. During his 2006 campaign for office, Murphey pledged to continue making the yearly pledge until legislative salaries are adjusted. Murphey sponsors legislation to accomplish this goal during each session of the Legislature.
Crossroads Clinic is a Guthrie-area, Christian-based non-profit organization which provides pregnancy related medical services, life-giving options education, client advocacy, support for prenatal care, parenting education, post-abortion peer counseling, and abstinence education.
Crossroads offers abortion-vulnerable women a scan to confirm viable pregnancies. Statistics show that 89 percent of abortion-minded women choose life for their unborn babies after seeing them through ultrasound and receiving truthful information about their options.
This year, Crossroads Clinic opened a second location which will provide services in the Oklahoma City area, just west of the Capitol building on N.W. 23 Street.