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Opinion: House Bill 1054x. This is not a solution, but a start

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 8, 2017

CONTACT Neely Tsoodle
PR Manager
P.O. Box 580
Okmulgee, OK 74447
(918) 758-6599
NTsoodle@mcn-nsn.gov

Opinion: House Bill 1054x. This is not a solution, but a start

Statement from Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James R. Floyd

OKMULGEE, Okla. — Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James R. Floyd released the following statement today urging Oklahoma lawmakers to get it right. “We want to implore the leaders that House Bill 1054x is a start to address the systemic problems the State faces. This is not the answer, it is an answer offered for a temporary fix to a long-term problem.

Governor Mary Fallin has endorsed House Bill 1054x, which calls for increased taxes on tobacco, gasoline, diesel and low-point beer and an increase on gross production tax from 2 percent to 4 percent on the first 36 months of some newly drilled oil wells. The language of this bill is nearly identical to one that was amended and passed on Monday. Fallin called a few of the larger populated tribes including the Muscogee (Creek) Nation asking for support of its passage.

“HB1045x is a partial fix that will please most citizens. However our working citizens, middle and lower income will bear the burden of the taxes, through gasoline and tobacco usage. That makes up a large portion of our population within our 11 county boundaries. We must find a solution to recognize the problem and it starts with leadership. Right now our state leaders have the inability to arrive at an agreement,” said Floyd.

“This is imperative that regardless of the outcome of this bill, we implore you to have the integrity and leadership to continue to seek an improved and ‘permanent’ answer promptly.”

The bill passed Tuesday and will now be heard by the full House today at 1:30 p.m.

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James R. Floyd is the chief executive of the fourth largest federally recognized tribe in the United States. He was elected Principal Chief in 2015 after retiring as the Director of Veterans Affairs in Muskogee, Oklahoma. His career had started with Muscogee (Creek) Nation as Manager of Health Services and Area Director of the Portland Indian Health Service. Throughout his career with Indian Health Service and Federal Service, Principal Chief Floyd continued to serve Native Americans throughout the United States, while always keeping in mind how his efforts could benefit Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Principal Chief Floyd is currently overseeing a new facility, A Creek Nation Community Hospital in Okemah, Oklahoma, which is conveniently located along I-40. The hospital will be opening in the fall of 2017. It will feature a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital, emergency room with 14 beds, Trauma care, CT scan, and two operating rooms.

With more than 84,254 citizens worldwide and more than 4-thousand employees, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is a self-governed Native American tribe located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Principal Chief Floyd oversees a diverse entity with many facets such as: cultural tourism, gaming, businesses, and a higher learning institution.

Update: The Oklahoma House voted on a funding bill. It needed 76 votes to pass. It failed 71-27.

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