Meredith Urges Diplomacy in Wake of Governor’s Statement on Tribes
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Matt Meredith (D-Tahlequah) released the following statement in response to the press conference held by Gov. Kevin Stitt regarding Oklahoma’s tribal gaming industry:
“It is disappointing that the governor has continued to push rhetoric instead of diplomacy as he seeks to adjust the compact,” said Rep. Matt Meredith. “This dispute began when the governor chose to write an op-ed about the tribal gaming compact before having conversations on the topic with tribal leaders.
“In my district, while a Republican controlled state government continued to cut services in favor of tax cuts and credits to wealthy individuals and corporations, the tribes invested in people. We have the largest Indian Health Services medical facility in the country thanks to the tribes. Rural hospitals throughout the state closed because Republicans refused to accept the Medicaid expansion, but in Tahlequah, Oklahoma the tribes built a teaching hospital. Our Sheriff’s offices have patrol vehicles because of the tribes, and again when Republicans pulled money from our county roads and bridges fund, the tribes put money back into our community’s infrastructure.
“The tribal nations are Oklahoma’s greatest ally. I would hope moving forward, the governor would negotiate in a way that is representative of the bond Oklahomans have with our Native brothers and sisters and in a way that respects tribal sovereignty. ”