April 13th, 2017
A strong and prosperous Oklahoma depends on communities and families that thrive with the help of quality schools with good teachers, well-maintained infrastructure, safe streets and neighborhoods, and public works like state parks, libraries, and arts initiatives.
We can’t wait another year to fix this. Our schools have already seen funding cuts larger than any other state, and they are struggling to keep class sizes down, to keep well-qualified teachers, or even to keep their doors open five days a week. Nursing homes, rural hospitals, and county health departments are looking at shutting down or cutting back on crucial health services. We could see shuttered state parks, furloughed state troopers, and other deep cuts to basic services for Oklahomans. Without budget reforms this year, revenues may plunge to an all-time low compared to what our communities need to thrive and what Oklahomans expect.
- Place Oklahoma on a sustainable path by getting away from one-time revenues and budget gimmicks;
- Prevent drastic cuts to state services;
- Invest in core government services like education, public safety, healthcare, and transportation.
There are solutions. But these solution will require lawmakers to take sensible action to raise new revenues. And for that to happen, legislators must hear from you.
Now’s the time to contact your Senator and Representative — by phone, email, or in person, if possible — and urge them to support the Blueprint for a Better Budget as way to avert further budget cuts, invest in key priorities, and bring the budget into balance. Click here for the easy 30-second guide for saving our state!
Please also contact these legislative leaders and insist that they craft a budget that puts Oklahomans first:
- Rep. Charles McCall, House Speaker: firstname.lastname@example.org; (405) 557-7412
- Rep. Leslie Osborn, House Appropriations and Budget Chair: email@example.com (405) 557-7333
- Sen. Mike Schulz, Senate President Pro Tem: firstname.lastname@example.org; (405) 521-5612
- Sen. Kim David, Senate Appropriations and Budget Chair: email@example.com (405) 521-5590
Here are a few revenue ideas we encourage you to recommend when you reach out to legislators:
- Restoring the gross production tax to its historical 7 percent rate [see our advocacy alert for more];
- Modernizing a gas tax that has not been adjusted for inflation in three decades;
- Restoring a 6 percent rate for extremely high income earners;
- Bringing Oklahoma in line with other states in taxing certain services
For additional suggestions on how to advocate for a better budget, please see this blog post from Together Oklahoma.
Partners and Campaigns
Oklahoma Education Association: Fight for Funding campaign