Statement: Lawmakers should respect wishes of the majority and pass revenue deal

Oklahoma Policy Institute released the following statement on the Oklahoma House’s failure to pass HB 1054:

Most Oklahomans want a comprehensive solution to our budget crisis. The solution preferred by the majority would prevent deeper budget cuts, provide desperately needed raises for teachers and state employees, and put the whole state budget on firmer footing next year. Instead, State Question 640 has allowed a small number of hold-outs to block the popular will. Continuing gridlock will endanger life-saving health care services, add to next year’s budget hole, perpetuate the exodus of Oklahoma’s best teachers out of the state, and risk costly state credit downgrades.

Lawmakers still have time to reconsider the vote today. Allowing this plan to fail after coming so close would be a tragedy. We urge the lawmakers standing in the way of this deal to hear the thousands of advocates for mental health, disability care, and other crucial services who are communicating the dangers of more budget cuts. We urge them to respect the wishes of the majority and pass the only bipartisan consensus plan that has emerged from weeks of special session.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gene Perry joined OK Policy in January 2011. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism. Gene also serves on the board of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, is a trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and has chaired the communications advisory committee for the State Priorities Partnership, a nationwide network of state fiscal policy think tanks. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Kara Joy McKee, who is a Tulsa City Councilor.

4 thoughts on “Statement: Lawmakers should respect wishes of the majority and pass revenue deal

  1. In speaking with Legislators, several have stated that constituents just don’t really understand or know the facts. This is when you know the power has gotten to them and led them to believe they know better than we, the ones who voted them in and we have the POWER to vote them out.

  2. Funding crucial Oklahoma state services demands raising the Gross Production Tax – GPT – on oil and gas producers, from today’s absurdly low 2%. In Texas, the same producers pay 8%. Were the Oklahoma GPT restored to 7%, where it was until lowered by the Legislature, Oklahoma would receive most of another billion dollars annually, which, today, amounts to a state subsidy to oil and gas corporations. Those companies’ profits result from pumping a resource belonging to all Oklahomans. They are not paying their fair share to support the state whose resources provide their living.

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