Recent Articles

OICA to Host Tele-Conference on Medicaid, Work with Lawmakers on Interim Studies

By the time that you likely read this, the June 30 party primary election will have been decided. Congratulations to the winners of each of those elections! We look forward to working with the outright winners tomorrow, and those who are elected in the November general election. OICA is currently in the planning stages of an online forum to discuss the merits of health care for Oklahomans based upon the outcome of State Question 802, which voters will have decided on June 30. Access to health care will require much planning as we go forward, no matter how the vote turns out. Continue Reading →

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Child Advocacy Group Praises Governor for Approving Vaccine Rules

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) praised Gov. J. Kevin Stitt for approving new Health Department rules relating to childhood vaccines. “The governor’s action helps protect countless children today and generations yet unborn from preventable diseases,” said Joe Dorman, OICA’s CEO. “His approval of the Health Department’s rules means Oklahoma families get accurate information about childhood vaccines so they can make informed choices about their children’s health.”

The rules ensure parents receive factual and accurate information about vaccines, countering the glut of misinformation on the internet that is available only with the click of a mouse. Nothing in the new rules curtailed the parental exemptions available under the law for those families who chose not to vaccinate their children. “Support for these rules was a key vote on our recently-released legislative scorecard on key children’s issues,” Dorman said. Continue Reading →

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USDA Awards Arkansas $75 Million for Electric Infrastructure Program

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Washington, DC: U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton—along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack, and Bruce Westerman— applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for awarding a $75 million loan to Arkansas Electric Co-op Corps through the Electric Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. As part of the Electric Loan Program, Arkansas Electric Co-op Corps is receiving these funds to build and improve electric transmission and distribution lines across the state, which will benefit thousands of residents in rural areas. The loan also includes funding for smart grid technology, which uses digital communications to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized these programs, allowing USDA to carry out rural broadband initiatives. “Rural broadband connectivity has always been an issue in Arkansas. Continue Reading →

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Child Advocacy Group Releases Legislative Scorecard

Eight Oklahoma Lawmakers Earn Perfect Score on Children’s Issues

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) released its legislative scorecard for the 57th Oklahoma Legislature detailing lawmakers’ stands on children’s issues. The scorecard is a comprehensive look at the 2019-2020 sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature, and a nonpartisan evaluation of lawmakers’ votes on specific bills relating to the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children. “These ratings are important tools for voters to use as they make their decisions about who to support in this year’s primary and general elections,” said Joe Dorman, OICA’s CEO. “Each vote on the bills we examined has an impact on Oklahoma’s children. A core component of our mission is to ensure that lawmakers and their constituents are aware of what they did either for or to Oklahoma’s children.”

In all, only eight lawmakers out of the 149-member Oklahoma Legislature had perfect pro-child scores, meaning they voted on every bill and voted the pro-child position. Continue Reading →

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OICA Continues Support for SQ 802, Cosponsors Children’s March for Justice


With the ongoing pandemic and the national emotions over injust policies, there is no way to anticipate how many Oklahomans will vote at the polls on Tuesday, June 30. Rest assured, though, this is a critical election for our state.  We encourage every voter to not let this Election Day pass by without your vote. Voters will decide the nominees for who will represent their parties in the November General Election and also on the ballot is a question placed there by voters to allow Oklahomans to decide whether our state will join 36 others that have expanded Medicaid. If approved by voters, more than $1 billion of Oklahomans’ federal tax dollars going to those other states will be brought home. This money, which we are already paying, will be used to cover 200,000 more Oklahomans with health care, creating 27,000 new jobs in the next five years and saving many hospitals and ambulance services. Continue Reading →

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Big Decisions for Voters on June 30; OICA Supports SQ 802

On June 30, Oklahomans have several decisions to make when they go to the polls. The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy has submitted to the candidates running for state and federal office a questionnaire on important issues relating to children. The survey allows those candidates to let voters know their positions on ten questions:

1. “What would you do to close the opportunity gap for the millions of children now being left behind?”

2. “What will you do to improve the early years of a child’s life? Continue Reading →

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Care Providers Oklahoma Statement on Reopening of Long-term Care Facilities

OKLAHOMA CITY – Care Providers Oklahoma President and CEO Steven Buck today released the following statement in regards to Governor Kevin Stitt’s executive order allowing for visitation to long-term care facilities to resume in a phased approach effective June 15: “Throughout this pandemic, Governor Stitt and his administration have communicated with the skilled nursing profession that their desire is to resume visitation as soon as it is safe. Our operators and staff share that desire because restrictions on visitation directly impact quality-of-life for our residents and their loved ones. “At the same time, we expect this process to unfold cautiously and with an emphasis on safety. Visitors to skilled nursing facilities should expect to see facilities enforcing new measures that impact when visitations can occur, limits to physical contact and proximity to residents, and other safety precautions. We appreciate the patience and understanding of our residents and their families thus far and ask for their continued cooperation in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Ongoing collaboration, including working closely with our colleagues in public health, is necessary to protect the safety of our residents, staff and broader communities. “Furthermore, we hope policymakers understand that opening our facilities will result in significant staffing needs, increased use of PPE and sanitation equipment, and potentially more cases in our facilities as the virus enters our facilities from the community and not the other way around. This comes at a time when nursing homes are already incurring skyrocketing expenses as they work to protect residents and staff from COVID-19. Continue Reading →

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Child Advocacy Group Endorses SQ 802


OICA Says Medicaid Expansion Leads to Healthier Children, Brighter Future

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) endorsed State Question 802, the ballot issue that will place Medicaid expansion in the state’s Constitution. Voters will cast ballots on the issue in the June 30 primary election. OICA is the preeminent group advocating on behalf of Oklahoma’s children. Mitchell Rozin, OICA’s board president, said supporting State Question 802 was an easy decision for the group. “Access to affordable health care coverage for Oklahoma’s children – which is so necessary for their development – is becoming less available, particularly in rural areas of the state,” he said. Continue Reading →

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OICA Names Rep. Mark Lawson “Children’s Representative of the Year”

OKLAHOMA CITY – After each session of the Oklahoma Legislature, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) evaluates the work done by the Legislature. The 2020 session of the Oklahoma Legislature was abbreviated due to the impact of COVID-19. Despite that, OICA CEO Joe Dorman said one state representative distinguished himself as a staunch advocate for Oklahoma’s children. “State Rep. Mark Lawson fought for Oklahoma’s children with tenacity, creativity, and wisdom,” Dorman said. “For that reason, he has been named OICA’s ‘Children’s Representative of the Year.’ The citizens he serves in Creek and Tulsa counties have every reason to be proud of Representative Lawson.”

Lawson, a Republican from Sapulpa, introduced and advocated several measures relating to juvenile justice reform. Continue Reading →

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OICA Census Community Challenge Will Provide Donation to School in Most Improved Oklahoma Municipality

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy recently issued our “Census Community Challenge” in the spirit of Bedlam to encourage local towns and cities to initiate competition between rival communities. The cities of Tulsa and Oklahoma City have been doing something similar for several months. It has helped the effort: as of Monday, June 8, Oklahoma City had an estimated 59.7% response rate, while Tulsa had 57.8%. Currently, the national response rate is at 60.7%, with Oklahoma as a whole showing a 54.2% rate, which is 44th in the nation. Participation in the census is vital as it means federal dollars coming to Oklahoma at an estimated $1,700 per person per year for ten years for programs funded by population numbers. Continue Reading →

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