The Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down a $1.50 per-package smoking cessation fee passed by lawmakers in May has created a genuine state emergency. If the Legislature does find new revenues in special session to replace those rejected by the Court, 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. The special session will begin September 25, but lawmakers need to hear from you now, because plans for what they will do are already being negotiated.

Talking Points

  • Even before the court threw out the cigarette fee, Oklahoma’s state budget severely underfunded core services. That budget was worsening the 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 now have a second chance to get it right and fix the budget by passing widely-supported revenue options. Lawmakers should spread the cost of increased taxation fairly and not insist on only one option. 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.
  • With Oklahoma already facing a more than $400 million budget hole next year, lawmakers must focus on recurring revenues in special session. They must stop relying on one-time revenues and budget gimmicks that increase the structural deficit.

What You Can Do

  • Contact your own Representative and Senator. Use the form below to find your legislators.

Locate your state Senator and Representative

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

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