November 9th, 2017
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.
Representatives who voted No on HB 1054, Nov. 8/17
|Name/Party||Room #||Phone #||District|
|Kevin Calvey, R||435||(405)firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Bobby Cleveland, R||434||(405)email@example.com|
|Jeff Coody, R||337||(405)firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dale Derby, R||500||(405)email@example.com|
|Tim Downing, R||300A||(405)firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Travis Dunlap, R||250||(405)email@example.com|
|John Enns, R||440||(405)firstname.lastname@example.org|
|George Faught, R||301B||(405)email@example.com|
|Tom Gann, R||500||(405)firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tommy Hardin, R||336||(405)email@example.com|
|Mark McBride, R||433B||(405)firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Scott McEachin, R||409||(405) email@example.com|
|Lewis Moore, R||329||(405) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jason Murphey, R||432D||(405) email@example.com|
|Terry O’Donnell, R||433||(405) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mike Ritze, R||436||(405) email@example.com|
|Sean Roberts, R||250||(405) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Michael Rogers, R||302||(405) email@example.com|
|Chuck Strohm, R||302A||(405) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tess Teague, R||329A||(405) email@example.com|
|Kevin West, R||248B||(405) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rick West, R||333||(405) email@example.com|
|Scott Inman, D||548||(405) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Steve Kouplen, D||541||(405) email@example.com|
|Eric Proctor, D||540A||(405) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Shane Stone, D||545||(405) email@example.com|
|Cory Williams, D||544||(405) firstname.lastname@example.org|
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.
Resources and Information
- Special Session Frequently Asked Questions
- Find Your Legislators
- Blog Post: What Now?
- Blog Post: Reality Check: Restoring Oklahoma’s Gross Production Tax Won’t Hurt Oklahoma’s Economy
- Column: Listen to your constituents on the gross production tax
- Blog Post: What Now? With clock ticking, legislators weigh options to avoid doomsday
- Press Release: Latest Republican plan ignores obvious solutions
- Poll: Oklahoma voters want comprehensive revenue deal in special session
- Fact Sheet: Six ways to bring in new revenues in Special Session
- Blog Post: It matters who we ask to pay more
- Interactive: How Would You Fix the Budget in Special Session?
- Together Oklahoma Advocacy Tipsheets
- Blog Post: Lawmakers have good revenue options for special session if they have the will to use them
- Advocacy Alert: End the special tax break for oil and gas producers
- Blog Post: Bills filled in special session put many options in play
- Column: Mission: Not impossible
- Op-ed: Oklahoma has a second chance to get its budget right
- Editorial: 67 percent support for GPT hike means #okleg should listen
- Save Our State Coalition’s Blueprint for a Better Budget
- SOS Coalition Statement: Lawmakers must go back to special session and finish job of funding core services
- Gov. Fallin: Statement on Special Session (Sept. 22)
- Gov. Fallin: Call for Special Session (Sept. 15)
- Blog Post: With the doomsday clock ticking, how might the state’s budget emergency be resolved?
- Blog Post: If lawmakers wait until regular session to fix the budget, it will already be too late
- Blog Post: Proposed budget leaves Oklahoma services massively underfunded
- The Supreme Court’s decision striking down the smoking cessation fee
- FY 2018 Budget Highlights (OK Policy Fact Sheet)
- OK Policy’s Revenue Options for a Better Budget (Feb. 2017)
- OK Policy’s Advocacy Toolkit