The next class of state lawmakers will face huge challenges when it comes to their most important task of supporting broad-based prosperity for Oklahomans. Years of shrinking funding have undermined Oklahoma’s most important public investments in education, public health and safety, and other core services. At the same time, Oklahoma families are living in an economy marked by limited access to good-paying jobs, persistent poverty, and lack of upward mobility, even before a weakening oil and gas industry made the situation worse.
In response to this continuing crisis in our state, we’ve published a new policy agenda for Oklahoma that can help turn these negative trends around. The agenda comes in two parts: part one outlines how Oklahoma can create a better budget and tax system that would put our finances on a more sustainable path in a way that is fair and responsible to the needs of regular families; part two outlines policies that would help to restore America’s basic bargain for Oklahoma families — that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.
We encourage new candidates and incumbent lawmakers to use these resources as a source of information and policy ideas as they campaign over the coming months and prepare for next year’s legislative session. We encourage voters to ask the candidates running in their district about these issues — make sure those seeking political office understand the urgency of fixing the state budget and creating better jobs and opportunities for all Oklahomans. If these ideas gain momentum during the campaign, they can serve as the basis for solutions to create the broad-based prosperity Oklahoma sorely needs.