- Call to Action
- Top Priorities
- Other issues to watch
- Upcoming events
- Advocacy tips
Call to Action
The Legislature is back in session making decisions about Oklahoma’s future. We can’t expect to have a voice in those decisions if we don’t make ourselves heard. So beginning today, we are sending out a weekly update to Together Oklahoma members. We will put the facts at your finger tips so You can translate our information into action.
Let’s not pretend that shaping the future of Oklahoma is easy, but the things that matter in life are rarely easy. Right?
Each week we will send easy action items to help you KNOW the issues, CONNECT with lawmakers, and COMMUNICATE your values and priorities. For example, this week you can:
KNOW: Subscribe to In The Know for daily news updates. You can read or listen to the podcast!
COMMUNICATE: Do you have your Representatives’ phone numbers in your phone? Stamp and address some envelopes NOW so sending will be a breeze!
TOK Top Priorities
We all have many important concerns for Oklahoma. We hope you will join us in focusing on these three priorites this year because:
- They obviously make a big difference
- They are practical and reasonable
- They are achievable
Restore Education Funding
(to at least 2008 levels. COME ON! Right?)
Fast Fact: The school funding formula has been CUT $213 million dollars since 2008, even as enrollment has increased by more than 30,000 students. (Source)
Quotable comment: “As someone who has been connected to the cattle industry most of my life, I am reminded of an old cattleman saying: “You can’t starve a dollar out of a cow.” … If our state leaders and state school superintendent were in the cattle business, they would not only go broke but probably would be arrested for animal abuse. Starving education through lack of funding to force change in hopes of better performance will not work and is not working.” -Gary Rudick, retiring chief of the Tulsa Public Schools campus police department (Source)
Read more about how Severe education funding cuts threaten Oklahoma’s economic future.
Protect essential revenues
(We’re talking stop the tax cuts AND reign in the unnecessary tax breaks!)
Stop unaffordable tax cuts
Fast fact: A $47.4 million tax cut has been proposed by Governor Fallin when we already have $170 million budget shortfall this year. (Source)
Quotable comment: “This budget will be very damaging to the future of our state if it is not modified in the weeks ahead. How can we afford another tax cut when we are already shortchanging the education of our children and grandchildren? Failure to adequately support higher education and all of education will discourage the creation of new jobs and investments in our state.” -University of Oklahoma President David Boren, responding to Governor Fallin’s proposal to cut taxes further while slashing higher education funding by nearly $50 million (Source)
Read more about how Budget cuts plus tax cuts don’t add up.
Reign in unnecessary tax breaks
Fast fact: Tax breaks for horizontal drilling are expected to cost Oklahoma $252 million in 2014. (Source)
Quotable comment: “It’s hard to give up an incentive tax break after 20 years, but it’s time to “give the taxpayers a break” and restore the gross production tax to the same as normal oil and gas wells.” -John A. Brock, the founder of several successful oil and gas exploration and production companies in Oklahoma (Source)
Read more about how all Oklahoma’s Oil and Gas tax breaks top $300 million.
Expand health coverage
Fast fact: Accepting federal funds to expand health coverage would net at least $13.6 billion for the state economy. (Source)
Quotable comment: “The problems with Medicaid are creating a perfect storm for the Health Care Authority, because at a time they have to operate on less money, they’re having to serve more and more people.” -Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, on Governor Fallin’s proposal to cut state funding for Medicaid while continuing to refuse federal funds.
Read more about Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act
Use the buddy system! Find a person or two to create an advocacy team. Lets cheer each other on as we learn the issues, practice talking to legislators and proofread our letters. Together we can accomplish so much more!