Kyle Meraz, Lawton, said he is a candidate for State House District 64 seat.
Meraz, a Democrat, is a registered nurse at Comanche County Memorial Hospital, where he has been working since starting nursing school in 2017. He joined the hospital’s ICU unit in summer 2019, after graduating from Western Oklahoma State College (Lawton campus) and has been working in the COVID ICU unit in recent months.
Meraz said he is running for the Oklahoma House so he can write legislation that will improve the day-to-day lives of residents, adding he also brings medical knowledge to the table.
“My top priority is the preservation and expansion of rural healthcare in our state,” he said, adding he has supported State Question 802 since Fall 2019 by collecting signatures for a petition to prompt Oklahoma accept more Medicaid funding. “This state question will expand Medicaid in our state and provide insurance for up to 200,000 more Oklahomans who have been neglected by our current system.”
Meraz said one of his first bills will address nurse-to-patient ratios.
“This model of legislation has been shown to reduce work place errors, decrease the length of hospital stay, and have better outcomes for the patients,” he said. “Evidence-based practice helps me provide the best care for my patients in the ICU, and evidence-based legislation is how I will advocate for the people in our community once in office.”
Meraz also said he believes it is time to legalize and decriminalize the use of marijuana in Oklahoma. He said current law keeps the state’s criminal justice system overcrowded with non-violent drug offenders. That comes at a cost of $16,497 per year per incarcerated person, money that could be spent on schools, roads and rural healthcare. He said the state also would see an increase in tax revenue and jobs.
“Medical marijuana generated more than $34.5 million in tax revenue through the end of September (2019),” he said.
Additional information is available via Facebook: Kyle Meraz for District 64.