Representative Tom Gann

Hi, I'm Tom Gann and I represent the people of Oklahoma's 8th District.


News & Announcements

Jun 14, 2024
Recent Posts

Representatives Commend Governor's Line-Item Veto of Education Budget Limits Bill

A group of legislators on Friday praised the governor's line-item veto of Sections 15 and 16 of Senate Bill 1122, which would have placed spending limits on the State Department of Education (SDE) for its Fiscal Year 2025 budget, which goes into effect July 1. The statement is issued by Reps. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid; Chris Banning, R-Bixby; Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle; Rusty Cornwell, R-Vinita; Denise Crosswhite Hader, R-Piedmont; David Hardin, R-Stilwell; JJ Humphrey, R-Lane; Tom Gann, R-Inola; Jim Grego, R-Wilburton; Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa; Mark Lepak, R-Claremore; Cody Maynard, R-Durant; Jim Olsen, R-Roland; Clay Staires, R-Skiatook; Kevin West, R-Moore; and Rick West, R-Heavener. "We'd like to thank Governor Stitt for his thoughtful line-item veto of Sections 15 and 16 of Senate Bill 1122," they said. "These portions of the bill would have done nothing to improve the education of Oklahoma students and instead would have significantly damaged the Department of Education's ability to carry out its mission." The lawmakers said Section 15 of SB1122 would have required SDE to apply for every federal grant, while Section 16 would have included provisions that forbid SDE from using any money to secure media interviews or public relations, or for other public promotional purposes. The group noted that no other agency is subject to these restrictions. State agencies are granted the autonomy to decide which grants to apply for and almost every state agency spends money to communicate to the public about particular programs or services offered. Section 16 would have singled out and severely limited SDE in this function. The lawmakers spoke about the Teacher of the Year program, teacher recruitment efforts, certain financial disclosures, and other public relations messages that would have been hampered should this measure have been signed into law. On Friday afternoon, the governor issued Executive Order 2024-12, which prohibits all state agencies, rather than inequitably highlighting a specific agency, from entering into sole source contracts with public relations, marketing, or communications firms and vendors, as well as requires all PR vendors be procured through a 30-day request for proposal.

Mar 21, 2024
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Gann Says Warrantless License Plate Scanner Tracking is Not Authorized By State Law

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, issued a statement today about the failure of legislation that would have authorized the use of license plate scanner technology for a purpose beyond insurance verification. "In 2016, the Legislature made the unfortunate decision to authorize the use of license plate scanner technology for the purpose of insurance verification," Gann said. "That law limited the use of this intrusive technology to that purpose only. This year, the Legislature considered House Bill 3570, which was not heard prior to the March 14 third-reading deadline for bills in their chamber of origin. Also considered was Senate Bill 1620, which was defeated on March 14 by a wide margin — becoming one of the very few bills to be defeated on the Senate floor. These bills would have authorized the use of this technology for purposes other than insurance verification. As these laws have failed, it's important for the public and city councils across the state to know that: There is no specific statutory authorization for using these systems beyond insurance verification." While the Legislature was considering these proposals, Gann said numerous concerning details have been brought forward. He said that while the proponents advocate for its ability to automate National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and Amber Alert scanning, it's clear that the real impact of this technology is to create a database of vehicles' travels, complete with the vehicles' identifiers, including its bumper stickers, and to then allow warrantless searches of that data – data that's stored in the cloud and that is then subsequently shared with many, many diverse government entities including those that are not in Oklahoma, Gann said. To demonstrate this concern, Gann pointed to the fact that in the past 30 days, Tulsa's data collection has been queried 2,143 times compared to 1,364 Amber and NCIC alerts. "That's 2,143 searches that have clearly occurred without a warrant and undoubtedly compromised the information of many innocent persons," Gann stated. Gann also stated that departments that use this technology have been known to share access to the data collection with federal agencies, including the FBI and ATF. "No Oklahoman should ever have to worry about their movements being shared with the Biden Administration's federal police state," Gann declared. "That's clearly what this technology is enabling." Gann said in the case of the Del City Police Department , that department appears to be sharing their information with more than 60 other government entities including the U.S. Postal Service, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the Texas Financial Crimes Intelligence Center. In addition to sharing Oklahomans' travel data with many government entities, the technology also appears to allow government entities to create custom watch lists that will inform them whenever certain people attempt to travel into or within their city limits, Gann said. "In my view, these abuses are clear violations of the Fourth Amendment and are not specifically authorized by state law," Gann said. "By not hearing House Bill 3570 and defeating Senate Bill 1620 by such a wide margin, the Legislature has clearly signaled that it doesn't intend to authorize them at any point in the near future."

Jan 18, 2024
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Gann Files Bill to Protect Oklahoma Students from Hostile Foreign Governments

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Tom Gann, R-Inola, said he is taking a proactive step toward safeguarding Oklahoma’s public school students with the introduction of House Bill 3112. The bill would prohibit schools and school districts from accepting financial donations or gifts from countries designated as "hostile" or "Countries of Particular Concern (CPC)" by the United States Secretary of State. On Sept. 21, 2023, Superintendent for Public Instruction Ryan Walters issued a report to the Legislature from his testimony to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. He described the involvement of the Chinese Communist Party in Oklahoma public education. The hearing titled "Academic Freedom Under Attack: Loosening the CCP's Grip on America's Classrooms," covered the investigation that began under the Trump Administration, and the work of Parents Defending Education. Gann said the hearing uncovered the covert efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to influence young people in the United States through the nation's universities and K-12 systems of public education. "One of the most disturbing statements in the report was, 'The Chinese International Education Foundation (CIEF), a Chinese-based organization sponsored by the CCP, is directly mentioned ten times in a contract that Tulsa Public Schools signed with the Confucius Classroom Coordination Office (CCCO) within the nonprofit IL Texas Global," Gann said. "We must never allow an avowed enemy of America and of freedom direct influence over the education of our children," he said. HB3112 would prevent school districts from accepting funding from hostile foreign governments beginning in the 2024-25 school year going forward. In addition to the prohibition, the bill mandates that school districts annually report any receipt of donations or gifts falling within the specified criteria. These reports will be required to be submitted through the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System used by schools and the state Department of Education, ensuring transparency and accountability in financial transactions. The bill contains an emergency clause, so it would take effect immediately upon being signed into law. It will be eligible to be considered when the regular legislative session starts. Feb. 5.