Oklahoma Legislative Democrats React to ARPA Allocations

Oklahoma City – State House Democrats sitting on the Oklahoma Legislature’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Committee released the following statements this week after several projects were approved.

According to a staff press release from the House Democratic leadership, “President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the latest federal stimulus bill to aid public health and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 11, 2021.

“According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, the plan included $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial and tribal governments, known as the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.”

State Rep. Cyndi Munson of Oklahoma City, the House Democratic Caucus Chair, commented about the recent meeting, saying it “provided a lot of hope for the future of Oklahoma, especially for many of our rural friends and family.

“Investments were made … for rural hospitals, to increase the reach of health and human services, and to ensure the vital infrastructure necessary to deliver clean water to our citizens. These investments are essential to the future of our state, and I applaud the members of the ARPA Committee, and the federal government, including the Congressmembers who supported the plan, and the Biden Administration.

“This process highlights the successes we are able to accomplish for all Oklahomans when the state and federal government work together instead of against each other.”

State Representative Meloyde Blancett, D-Tulsa said in the press release sent to CapitolBeatOK.com:

“You can’t grow the economy, attract business or work toward a better Oklahoma without a strong, robust, skilled workforce. The committee’s investment into Oklahoma’s workforce via the American Rescue Plan was directed specifically to support workforce training programs that invest in strategic industry areas such as 21st-century manufacturing, trucking, and aerospace.

“Moreover, we also chose to invest in out-of-school childcare programs which is a key workforce challenge that still needs our attention as well as shoring up our beleaguered arts & culture sector, which is central to talent attraction and retention.

“Oklahoma’s multifaceted workforce challenges must be addressed and these long overdue resources are a great start to getting us on a better track, but there is still work to do.”

Note: CapitolBeatOK.com is an independent, non-partisan and locally-managed news service based in Oklahoma City. It was founded in 2009 by Patrick B. McGuigan.