Politics and Government
6:45 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Fallin Rejects Ritze Call For ‘Catastrophic Health Emergency'

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.
Credit jadedtom / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Mary Fallin’s office on Tuesday rejected a call by Rep. Mike Ritze to declare a Catastrophic Health Emergency to address issues related to the immigrant children being held at Fort Sill.

“It is our belief that the (Catastrophic Health Emergency Act) offers a very narrow interpretation of what a ‘health emergency’ is and when a CHE can be declared by the governor, wrote Steve Mullins, Fallin’s general counsel, in a Tuesday letter to Ritze. “We do not believe that the current health concerns at Fort Sill have met that threshold.” 

On July 14, Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, announced he had sent letters to Fallin Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Commissioner of Health Terry Cline and state representatives in the Lawton area encouraging them to do all they can to ensure the protection of Oklahoma citizens from contagious diseases following the federal government's decision to house illegal immigrant children at Ft. Sill.

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