Lawmakers must use special session to fix the budget, not pass the buck

If the Legislature does not approve new revenues in special session, the consequence will be unimaginable cuts to health care and other protections for our state’s most vulnerable citizens — with the greatest harm to children, seniors, and people with severe disabilities and mental illness. Lawmakers need to hear from you now!

To help keep you informed about what’s happening at the Capitol, we are providing daily updates to our Special Session Frequently Asked Questions.

What You Can Do

On November 6th, the Senate passed HB 1035 on a bipartisan vote of 37-5, which surpassed the 3/4 requirement for revenue bills. On November 8th, the House took up an identical measure, HB 1054. The vote was 71-27, which was two votes short of the 3/4 supermajority needed to pass revenue bills. You can see how Representatives voted here.  See our statement on the failure of HB 1054 to achieve 3/4 support.

HB 1054, which includes a $1.50 cigarette tax increase, a $0.06 fuel tax increase and a 4 percent gross production tax on new wells, is the linchpin of a comprehensive, fair, and long-term solution to the budget crisis. Passage of HB 1054 would unlock an overall deal that would avert devastating budget cuts, provide raises for teachers and state employees, and restore the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers.

HB 1054 was held on a motion to reconsider, which means it can be brought up for another vote no later than November 13th. What you can do:

  • Find out how your legislator voted on HB 1054 and contact them today to say ‘thank you’ or express why you are disappointed by their vote.
  • Contact the Representatives who voted No (see list below) and urge them to change their vote if HB 1054 is brought back to the House floor.

Use the form below to find your Representative.

Locate your state Senator and Representative


ex: 2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Representatives who voted No on HB 1054, Nov. 8/17

Name/Party Room # Phone #  District Email 
Kevin Calvey, R  435 (405)557-7375 82
Bobby Cleveland, R  434 (405)557-7308 20
Jeff Coody, R  337 (405)557-7307  63
Dale Derby, R  500 (405)557-7377 74
Tim Downing, R  300A  (405)557-7365 42
Travis Dunlap, R  250 (405)557-7402 10
John Enns, R  440 (405)557-7321 41
George Faught, R 301B (405)557-7310 14
Tom Gann, R  500 (405)557-7364 8
Tommy Hardin, R  336 (405)557-7383 49
Mark McBride, R  433B (405)557-7346  53
Scott McEachin, R  409 (405) 557-7341 67
Lewis Moore, R  329 (405) 557-7400 96
Jason Murphey, R  432D  (405) 557-7350 31
Terry O’Donnell, R 433 (405) 557-7379 23
Mike Ritze, R  436 (405) 557-7338 80
Sean Roberts, R  250 (405) 557-7322 36
Michael Rogers, R  302 (405) 557-7362 98
Chuck Strohm, R  302A  (405) 557-7331 69
Tess Teague, R  329A  (405) 557-7395 101
Kevin West, R  248B (405) 557-7343 54
Rick West, R  333 (405) 557-7413 3
Scott Inman, D  548 (405) 557-7370 94
Steve Kouplen, D  541 (405) 557-7306 24
Eric Proctor, D  540A (405) 557-7410 77
Shane Stone, D  545 (405) 557-7397 89
Cory Williams, D  544 (405) 557-7411 34
Here is our statement on the comprehensive budget plan:

The comprehensive budget plan that includes raising the gross production tax to 4 percent on new wells, is the best possible outcome and the only good outcome under our current  circumstances. It recognizes that the state budget can only begin to be fixed with new recurring revenues and provides an important measure of fairness by curbing the tax break for oil and gas companies and restoring the earned income tax credit.  Most urgently, it averts catastrophic cuts to our health care system and social safety net while providing crucial pay raises for teachers and state employees. There is still much more work to do in the next regular session to ensure a fairer tax system and a budget that meets the needs of Oklahomans, but now is the time to approve this compromise and bring the budget emergency to an end. We  urge all House members to support HB 1054.

When you contact your legislator to support HB 1054, be sure to share how the failure to resolve the budget crisis will affect your family, your business, or your community.

Talking Points for Special Session

  • The situation is critical. Unless lawmakers find a solution before December 1st, the health and human service state agencies will be forced to enact catastrophic cuts, including the elimination of all outpatient mental health services. There is no time left to wait and no time to play politics.
  • Oklahoma’s state budget was severely underfunded, even before the court ruled lawmakers’ cigarette fee unconstitutional. That budget was worsening Oklahoma’s teacher shortage, forcing the closure of senior nutrition sites, cutting support for foster families, and not even beginning to undo the damage to our communities caused by years of cuts.
  • Lawmakers must fix the budget by adopting widely-supported and fair revenue options. Lawmakers should  insist on a mix of revenue options that ensures that everyone contributes to fixing the budget. Oklahoma’s structural budget problems will not be solved if lawmakers insist on asking nothing from the wealthiest households and most profitable businesses in our state. Good options include an end to unnecessary tax breaks for big oil and gas, a modernized gas tax, an increased top rate on very high incomes, itemized deduction reform, a roll-back of wasteful tax breaks like the capital gains exemption, and an increased cigarette tax.
  • We need recurring revenues. Any plan that relies heavily or exclusively on one-time revenues will leave lawmakers with a larger budget hole for next year. There’s a chance now to do big things to put the budget on a better path, not continue to kick the can down the road.

See a fact sheet on these revenue options here.

Resources and Information





Former Executive Director David Blatt joined OK Policy in 2008 and served as its Executive Director from 2010 to 2019. He previously served as Director of Public Policy for Community Action Project of Tulsa County and as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma State Senate. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Cornell University and a B.A. from the University of Alberta. David has been selected as Political Scientist of the Year by the Oklahoma Political Science Association, Local Social Justice Champion by the Dan Allen Center for Social Justice, and Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.

6 thoughts on “Lawmakers must use special session to fix the budget, not pass the buck

  1. Have the courage to do the right thing. We know this is difficult, but you were elected to do difficult work. D

  2. saddens me that my government can’t make adjustments like everyone else has to inorder to work within a budget. I do not feel like it’s the right thing to do to, once again, turn and alienate a few articulate group of taxing agree to bail you out. The tX is more than a carton originally cost already. I am 55 years old fand don’t feel that you are justified in controlling my choices. I am considerate about it. If you want to really do some good, put a tax like that on alcohol. Maybe we will have fewer drunk drivers on the roads. Now that would be. good thing! Either way, there are so many ways the government can save money without going back to the people over and over. Find another way.

    Thank you

  3. How about we throw out the MAPS project or “freeze” it until we can afford to finish the plans. I am not sure how much money that would free up but it’s a start!

  4. can I agree to that , sure if you put 7% on GPT and 5% on wind , and 1%on any other corporation here in oklahoma , and take off the Tobacco Tax , along with liquor tax . we all like a drink once in awhile and a fine Cuban Cigar once in awhile when the celebration calls for one . if we cant come to some agreement on this , then I purpose No deal ! its a push pull , no one likes higher taxes especially when its all take and no give , Oklahoma Tax payers have a right for something in return .? as for the Tax of restore of 3,000 I believe that’s part of Trumps deal and your taring to take claim so you have given us nothing . all take and no give makes for angry Tax payers .

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