Oklahoma Senate District 47 is held by Greg Treat who is the state’s Senate President Pro Tempore.
Treat has served as the district’s senator since 2011 when he won in a special election to replace Todd Lamb who, at that time, became Oklahoma’s Lieutenant Governor .
He is seeking re-election for his last term while his newcomer challenger, Andrea Stone, is trying to stop that from happening.
The senate district covers parts of Oklahoma City, Deer Creek, Bethany, and Edmond.
The following provides each candidate’s policies based on research and a questionnaire that Free Press had each candidate complete. For clarity, only Stone completed the questionnaire while Treat did not respond to Free Press’s inquiries.
With less than a month left until the November elections, Free Press will be providing coverage of races in the Oklahoma City metro area in depth. By doing so, we hope that you, the reader, gain a better understanding of the choices you will have on November 3.
Stone is a first-time candidate who describes herself as an involved member of the community. She is a former teacher at the University of Central Oklahoma and debate coach who also worked in the energy sector.
Her main platforms are healthcare, education, and gun safety.
She is part of Moms Demand Action, a national gun safety organization, and even spoke at an Oklahoma City town hall meeting last year where she defended pro-gun safety policies.
“I advocate [for] a return to permits and training for those who want to conceal carry a gun in public,” Stone wrote. “We need laws to remove guns from convicted domestic abusers, and we need to invest in school safety programs that have proven to be effective.”
Just for context, this year Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to pass a anti-red flag law, which prohibits authorities from confiscating a firearm from someone who might be deemed a threat to themselves or others.
Stone wants to counteract this anti-red flag law by allowing family members to remove firearms from loved ones in a crisis. She believes this measure is a needed solution given Oklahoma’s high suicide rate.
For healthcare, Stone supports Medicaid expansion and medical marijuana.
She explained that Medicaid expansion would be beneficial for the state insofar that “[c]overing uninsured people is good for everyone, even people who have private insurance, since premiums have gone down in states who have expanded Medicaid.”
Stone wrote on her campaign website that she voted for State Question 788, which legalized medical marijuana in Oklahoma because it would help people avoid using opiates.
Being an advocate for funding education, she sees the lack of financial support in education as a detriment to the state.
“Our state university tuition has climbed as the legislature has cut [school] support, and scholarships and aid haven’t kept up,” she wrote. “The quality of our schools is a workforce and economic development issue, and we are missing out on corporate relocations in great part due to our under-funded education system.”
Treat has sponsored over fifty signed-into-law bills since taking office.
His bills have touched on various issues such as removing legal liability from businesses and individuals who are sued for exposing someone to COVID-19, classifying stealing a firearm a felony, and giving more authority to the governor to remove and replace state agency heads.
The president pro tempore describes himself on his website as pro-life, pro-teacher, and an advocate for Oklahoma’s economy.
Recently, he and representative Jon Echols sponsored a bill that would classify life beginning at conception, meaning that abortions would be legally considered murder.
The bill did not pass, however, it did spark outrage among abortion rights advocates.
Treat was also serving in the senate when the historic 2018 Oklahoma teacher walkout took place. He guided over half a billion dollars towards teacher pay raises and other state education needs in response to teacher demands.
Recently while forming the state’s up-coming fiscal budget, Treat and the majority of the senate and house clashed with Governor Stitt over his vetoes.
Treat, along with the state legislature, overrode the governor’s vetoes for bills pertaining to the state budget.
“The deep education funding cuts the governor’s vetoes cause are unnecessary and unacceptable, as is his false rhetoric about the bills’ effect on the transportation and retirement systems” House Speaker Charles McCall and Treat said in a joint statement.
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Last Updated October 20, 2020, 8:40 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor