Senator Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman
State Capitol Room 519
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: November 3, 2009
Sen. Mike Johnson
SENATOR JOHNSON SUGGESTS CORN, OTHER DEMOCRATS
HAVE TRIED CAMPING OUT IN 2003
Says Minority Leadership Knows Reality of DHS
Are Disingenuous, Considering Their Past Inactions on Budget Issues
Johnson (R-Kingfisher), suggested Senate Democrats might have
considered camping out on the Capitol grounds in 2003 to protest
their own leadership’s inaction on the DHS budget cuts at
that time, and offered a civics lesson on how state government works.
“I understand our leadership office has received letters
from various members of the Senate Democrat leadership over the
past weeks to call Republicans to task for funding cuts to DHS and
other programs,” Johnson said. “They want our leadership
to call a special session to deal with various budget matters, and
now they’re camping out on the Senate lawn to call attention
to the matter.
“Obviously, we are very concerned about the impact on the
elderly, the infirmed and the homebound members of the greatest
generation, and want to do anything possible to honor and care for
them in their retirement years.
“And I’m certain the calls for help from Democrat leaders
is heartfelt, and has nothing to do with politics leading up to
2010,” Johnson continued.
“But I’ve got to wonder where they were in 2003 when
DHS suffered similar cuts,” he continued. “I didn’t
see any of them pitching a tent and rolling out sleeping bags to
show their concern for the elderly when they were in the majority,
and failed to fully restore this funding for two years,” he
“The fact is six years ago when they were in the majority,
they didn’t lift a finger to fund senior nutrition when faced
with a similar fate,” Johnson said.
“In fact, every Democrat in the Senate with the exception
of Senator Rabon voted against funding nutrition programs (HB 1197
– 5.20.02),” he continued.
In FY ‘03, the Department of Human Services cut funds to
the Area Agencies on Aging, which administer senior nutrition programs
around the state. Under Democrat leadership, cuts were not restored
to these programs until FY ‘05.
“I also hope, given their genuine concern for the budget,
that they will offer their own solutions to the crisis, as Senators
Coffee, Williamson, Pruitt and I did in 2003, rather than write
inflammatory news releases and resort to publicity stunts that bring
no solutions,” he continued.
Johnson noted that all Democrat Senators voted for the DHS appropriations
bill last session (HB 1216 – 5.26.09) and that DHS funding
was mostly whole in the current budget, and that the aging services
division, under which senior nutrition services are funded, received
no cuts, as compared the vast majority of state agencies, who received
7% cuts in their budgets.
“The Senators know that the decision to cut senior nutrition
by almost 30% was an executive agency decision over which neither
Republican nor Democrat members of the Legislature have control,”
For more information contact:
Sen. Johnson: 405-521-5592