You are making a difference! Thanks to your calls and emails, a bill that would end the capital gains income tax deduction – SB 1086 – has cleared the first hurdle and made it out of subcommittee. Now let’s keep the momentum going. Here are three bills that need our attention this week.
Support SB 1086: Repeal the capital gains tax deduction
Unlike similar capital gains deductions in other states that have them, Oklahoma’s deduction is not targeted to any specific industry and has no requirement that gains from this tax break be re-invested in Oklahoma. In 2014, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of this more than one hundred-million dollar tax break went to just 824 households with incomes of more than $1 million. SB 1086 is now up for a vote in the appropriations committee. This committee is comprised of the entire Senate, so passage here will be a great sign that SB 1086 will make it through the Senate and move on to the House. Now is the best time to call your Senator and ask her or him to vote YES on SB 1086. You can look up contact information for your Senator here.
Support SJR 52: Allow lawmakers to approve popular revenue bills
SJR 52 would send to a vote of the people a constitutional amendment that reduces the supermajority requirement to pass a revenue bill in Oklahoma from the current 75 percent to 60 percent. The three-fourths requirement has allowed a minority of legislators to block revenue solutions favored by a majority of Oklahomans. Rather than encouraging compromise, the three-fourths hurdle has increased gridlock and prevented lawmakers from doing the job that Oklahomans expect. The cost of lawmakers’ inability to raise revenues includes the largest cuts to general K-12 education funding in the nation, serious threats to the care of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities, tens of thousands of Oklahomans losing needed mental health care, and a prison system at the brink of collapse. To make our state government again work effectively for the people of Oklahoma, we need to remove barriers that prevent popular revenue solutions.
Please call the members of the Senate Rules Committee and ask them to vote YES on SJR 52.
Senator Eddie Fields (Chair)–(405) 521-5581; firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Frank Simpson (Vice Chair)–(405) 521-5607; email@example.com
Senator Mark Allen–(405) 521-5576; firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Stephanie Bice–(405) 521-5592; email@example.com
Senator Michael Brooks–(405) 521-5557; firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Nathan Dahm–(405) 521-5551; Dahm@oksenate.gov
Senator Kim David–(405) 521-5590; email@example.com
Senator Kay Floyd–(405) 521-5610; firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator AJ Griffin–(405) 521-5628; email@example.com
Senator Rob Standridge–(405) 521-5535; firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Gary Stanislawski–(405) 521-5624; email@example.com
Senator Roger Thompson–(405) 521-5588; firstname.lastname@example.org
Oppose SB 1179: Don’t take health coverage from low-income parents
SB 1179 would end SoonerCare coverage for low-income parents in Oklahoma who fail to prove they are working or meeting volunteer requirements. SoonerCare is how we ensure that very low-income Oklahomans can get a flu shot or see a doctor. It is not a jobs program, and losing access to that health care will only make it more difficult for Oklahomans to stay healthy enough to get or keep a job. A SoonerCare work requirement will hurt many Oklahomans who are already working. Low-wage jobs often come with limited, unreliable hours. Many of these jobs are also seasonal. Oklahomans who have inconsistent employment through no fault of their own could lose their health coverage under this bill. SB 1179 won’t meaningfully help the budget or get more people into the workforce. Please ask you Senator to vote NO to SB 1179. You can look up contact information for your Senator here.
To read more about any of these issues, explore our legislative priority fact sheets.