Dollens Issues Statement on Oklahoma PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) Decision

Staff Report
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City, released the following statement today urging Governor Kevin Stitt not to pull Oklahoma out of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

“Ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits before they expire in September is shortsighted and punitive to Oklahomans who still require aid. This federal money, intended to stimulate the economy and support our workforce, has already been allocated. 

These federal benefits have greatly contributed to Oklahoma’s economic recovery because recipients infuse those dollars back into their local economies. 

“Before we rush to end federal pandemic unemployment benefits, we need to take a hard look at the reality facing many Oklahomans today. More than 1 in 7 Oklahomans live below the federal poverty line. For a family of four, that means the household is bringing in less than $26,200. 

 “The majority of Oklahomans receiving unemployment benefits aren’t scamming the system, they’re trying to get back on their feet. The ones scamming the system are the big corporations who believe they can pay their employees poverty wages while they line their own pockets. We need to do better if we want our state to prosper.

“I urge the governor to consider the current and past hardships over the last year that Oklahomans have faced. Do not prematurely end this needed safety net for our citizens.”