Collinsville, Oklahoma
April 25, 2008
Miscellaneous News
Sears & Sullivan Congressional Reports
Rev. Prock At State Capitol /
Cherokee Award Winners /

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Copyright 2008 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma
Representative Earl Sears Legislative Report
Collinsville's Pastor Tim Prock (of the First Baptist Church) served as Chaplain of the Day at Oklahoma State Capitol recently.
Local Chaplains Serve Honorably
At State Capitol

By State Rep. Earl Sears

During a normal legislative session, the days can be hard and the nights can be long. From February until the end of May, your state government is working hard to make Oklahoma a better place. And the elected officials inside the state Capitol are fortunate enough to have many good people working behind-the-scenes.

While many of those people are staffers who assist in the legislative process, some are volunteers who willingly give up their free time to help out here at the state Capitol.

One such group does so much for us I cannot put into words how appreciative we are toward them. I'm talking about the chaplains who come to Oklahoma City to volunteer their services to anyone in the building who seeks their assistance. The House of Representatives have what is called the "Chaplain of the Day" program. This is a system that allows senators and representatives from all over the state to nominate chaplains in their area to come to the Capitol and take part in our daily sessions.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to have three chaplains from our part of the state serve the legislature. Because I value and appreciate their taking the time to take part in the program, I want to list them all below to give them some much-deserved attention:

n Jason Elmore: Friday Nite Church, Bartlesville
n Rod MacIlvanie: Grace Community Church, Bartlesville
n Darryl Wootton: First Assembly of God, Bartlesville

Each of these men came to Oklahoma City and honored us with their presence and ability to be a great conduit to the spiritual guidance we all need from time to time in our lives.

I've always had a special level of appreciation for people who decide to make serving the Lord their life's work. It takes an amazing person to be able to put their own personal goals aside to devote their lives to the spiritual betterment of others. That is such a special calling and we should all be appreciative of their hard work and devotion to their churches, congregations and communities around them.

These three men have shown me they are exceptional people and I feel both honored and blessed that they were able to come to the legislature and serve us. For that I thank each one of them a thousand times over.

Earl Sears (R- Bartlesville) serves District 11 of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He can be reached by phone at (405) 557-7358 or via e-mail at

Rep. Earl Sears & Pastor Tim Prock
Trail of Tears Award Winners
Trail of Tears Awards winners (L-R): Ryan Morgans, Cassie Smith, Daniel Carney, Brandi Brown and Angela Payne.
The 2008 Cherokee Nation Trail of Tears Awards for Excellence was presented to five seniors from Collinsville at an awards luncheon held Thursday, April 24, 2008 at the Doubletree Hotel in Tulsa.

The "Tsa-La-Gi" Trail of Tears Awards for Excellence recognizes students who have displayed outstanding merit in at least one of the following eight areas: Academics, Art, Citizenship, Civic Organizations, Indian Cultural Activities, Music, School Clubs and Sports.

The annual ceremony honors 600 to 700 Cherokee students each year from more than 70 schools in the Cherokee Nation. A new award was established by the Tribal Council in 1993 for outstanding male and female seniors from each of the Cherokee Nation Districts.

The seniors receiving awards are Ryan Morgans, Cassie Smith, Daniel Carney, Brandi Brown and Angela Payne.

Angela Payne received the District 8 Senior Girl Award. She received a certificate and a Cherokee Nation Jacket.

(Submitted by Janice Fields 4/24/2008)
Angela Payne and Cherokee Chief Chad Smith
Previous Coverage:

April 24, 2008

Strengthening Oklahoma’s
Health Care Safety Net

At the beginning of April, I introduced legislation which will help Oklahoma hospitals and make sure that the government is effectively and responsibly using taxpayer’s money when it comes to federal health care programs. The Strengthening the Safety Net Act of 2008, H.R. 5721, will bring Oklahoma’s hospitals on equal footing with other states who already receive their fair share of Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments (DSH). DSH payments are funds that are distributed to all 50 states and are used to reimburse hospitals that have a high percentage of patients that are low income, on Medicaid or uninsured. 20 states, including Oklahoma, are not fully reimbursed for the uncompensated care they provide. Other states do not utilize their entire allotment, creating a surplus of unused funds, which are not used as they were originally intended for: health care. With Oklahoma having the fourth highest rate of uninsured in the nation, it is critical that Oklahoma hospitals receive a fair distribution of DSH funds in order to care for the indigent population.

This legislation also creates an innovative new grant program, which is paid for with existing, unused DSH funds, to help fund health access networks, bringing low income and uninsured patients out of our nation’s emergency rooms, where care comes at a high cost to taxpayers, and into more cost effective primary care facilities. By reducing medical costs, H.R. 5721 will relieve the financial strain placed on hospitals and allow them to remain open and continue to provide care for the impoverished and uninsured population of Oklahoma.

For more information on H.R. 5721, the Strengthening the Safety Net Act of 2008, please click here.

Ensuring Your Tax Money Does Not Go to Encourage Illegal Immigration

In light of the recent passage of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which is now law, it was brought to my attention that the IRS currently issues individual taxpayer identification numbers to individuals without verifying their legal status in the United States. Since millions of individuals, including illegal aliens, use individual taxpayer identification numbers to file tax returns, this lack of federal oversight could unintentionally allow millions of illegal aliens to receive tax rebate or economic stimulus checks from the federal government.

Because I believe it is wrong for illegal aliens to receive tax benefits, I was pleased to join several of my House colleagues in sending a letter to IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff, urging the agency to work with the Department of Homeland Security to verify the legal status of individuals who fail to provide a valid social security number when filing their taxes. By verifying legal status, we take away an important incentive for illegal aliens to work in the United States.

Honoring our Nation’s Armed Forces

Recently, the House of Representatives passed, with my full support, H. Res. 1020. This resolution honors the men and women who serve in our nation’s armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, particularly those who have been wounded in combat. More than 1.6 million members of the armed forces have been deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom since September 2001, including the almost 2,500 Oklahomans who are currently serving, and have served, in the Global War on Terror. It is important that America honor these brave men and women and the sacrifices that both they and their families make on a daily basis. As always, my thoughts and prayers are with all members of our fine military, both at home and abroad.

If you wish to contact Congressman Sullivan regarding a specific issue, please visit our contact web page at