Oklahoma Policy Institute issued the following statement on the new budget proposal announced by Governor Fallin and Republican legislative leaders:
Since the beginning of special session four weeks ago, the bipartisan framework needed to end our budget emergency has been clear. Lawmakers must pair a cigarette tax increase with restoring some income taxes on very high earners and ending some of Oklahoma’s extraordinarily generous tax breaks for big oil and gas. These are the revenue options most popular with Oklahoma voters and most likely to win the needed super-majority approval in the Legislature.
That Governor Fallin and Republican legislative leaders chose not to offer this obvious plan is extremely discouraging for the Oklahomans in severe danger due to lawmakers’ budget deadlock. Foster families, people with mental illness, people who depend on rural hospitals, vulnerable seniors and children, teachers and state employees, and all of us among their friends and families deserve better.
Oklahoma’s structural budget problems will not be solved while lawmakers insist on asking nothing from the wealthiest households and most profitable businesses in our state. This proposal simply continues the political grandstanding that has prevented the obvious, popular, and fair solution preferred by a large majority of Oklahomans.
We’re encouraging Oklahomans to continue contacting lawmakers and visiting the Capitol if you are able. Click here for more information and ways to take action.