Here is your Together Oklahoma update for the final week that bills can pass out of committees. As always, we’re doing our best to give you the tools that help you become the best advocate for fair and adequate funding that you can be. Thanks for all that you do to make Oklahoma better!
- Budget Options that are Reasonable
- Action Alert: Vote NO on HB2665
- Webinar links for both Advocacy and the Legislative Process and Priority Issues for 2016
- Upcoming Together Oklahoma Meeting
- Seven Ways to Get Your Legislators’ Attention.
As of last week, the budget shortfall has grown to at least $ 1.3 billion. This massive hole is hurting all our state agencies. In this last week of bills passing out of committees, it looks like your legislators are continuing to ignore the reasonable revenue options we’ve suggested. They seem to want to focus on cutting all agencies to the bone. Don’t let them do that without answering to you!
Here are some things you can visit, call, and write to suggest. If they tell you they don’t like these, ask them what they propose instead.
- Repeal the income tax cuts
- Adopt combined corporate reporting
- Do away with double deductions on state income taxes
- Pass an Amazon law for online sales tax collection
- Accept all federal health care funding.
Action Alert: Vote NO on HB2665
Instead of the reasonable options above, some lawmakers have suggested measures that won’t do much to fill the budget hole while doing a lot to hurt our most vulnerable neighbors. One such measure is HB 2665, introduced by Rep. Cox (R-Grove). At a time when Oklahoma already boasts one of the nation’s highest uninsured rate, deliberately adding more to their number should be unthinkable. But that’s exactly what HB 2665 would do. HB 2665 would strip Medicaid eligibility from non-pregnant, non-disabled adults under 65. HB 2665 has passed out of the the House Appropriations and Budget Health Subcommittee and is scheduled for a vote before the full Appropriations Committee this afternoon, Feb 23rd. Contact your legislators and tell them that kicking 100,000 people off health insurance isn’t the right move for the state. Get your VOTE NO ON HB2665 TALKING POINTS HERE.
Thanks again to everyone who attended our two Webinars in the last couple of weeks. You can see slides and video of those here:
The Together Tulsa meeting was great this past weekend! It was also attended by folks from Bartlesville, Jenks, Owasso, Broken Arrow, and many other North Eastern Oklahoma towns. As such we are changing the name to Together Oklahoma-North East (TOK-NE). Similarly we will be changing Together OKC to Together Oklahoma-Central (TOK- C)
- Together OKC Legislative Action Teams Planning (March, 3rd at 6 PM-8 PM Downtown Library Ronald J Norick 300 Park Ave, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102) Get to know your neighbors, build on our strategy, and develop relationships with our legislators to create public policies that work! Street parking is free after 6PM. There is also the Art District lot at 431 W. Main that is directly west of the library. We’ll be meeting in the Friend Room on the 4th Floor of the Downtown Library. We’ll be cacusing by district at this meeting so if you haven’t already filled out this brief questionnaire please do so now.
Finally, many of you are getting engaged with your two state legislators as well as committee members for specific bills. Go team! Now seems like a great time to remind us all about the best ways we can nurture and develop relationships with the legislators who represent us.
Follow this link to read Seven Ways to Get Your Legislators’ Attention.
We have more impact when we work in teams. Together Oklahoma chapters are forming in your area so please fill out this brief questionnaire if you have not done so already.
Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing you soon!