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Call to Action
Invite us to come speak! Now is a good time to help bring our priorities to your area. Our Together Oklahoma team is booking all over Oklahoma and we would like to come see you!
Each week we 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: Have you subscribed to the In The Know podcast and blog? Knowledge is power and we make it easy to get the top Oklahoma headlines every day.
CONNECT: How did they vote? When your legislator says they will vote your way how do you know they did it? Check out OK Policy’s fantastic Bill Tracker so you can know if they kept their promise to you and so you can keep them accountable!
COMMUNICATE: Chances are high that most of your friends and family feel alone in their political beliefs. Let your loved ones know what is going on by Sharing, Liking, Commenting and ReTweeting on social media. Every click from you makes it more likely that Oklahomans will receive the vital information we post.
TOK Top Priorities
Let’s all support these three priorities this year because:
- They touch everyone!
- They have bi-partisan support
- They are related to each other and work well together
Protect essential revenues
(Core services improve our quality of life and make Oklahoma a business friendly economy!)
Stop unaffordable tax cuts
Fast fact: Most Oklahomans don’t want an income tax cut. Last year a huge majority (77 percent) disagreed with the statement that they “would favor cutting funding for Oklahoma’s public health services, including Soonercare, mental health services, and care for children with developmental disabilities so that savings can be passed along to taxpayers in the form of a tax cut.” (Source)
Quotable comment: “One of the questions we need to ask ourselves is: Can we afford another tax cut when we can’t give another tax cut without cutting vital services? It is not only schools and colleges that are damaged. What about bridges like the one being closed between Lexington and Purcell? What about overcrowded prisons that are ticking time bombs? Who will get this proposed tax cut? Is it worth hurting education more? Sixty percent of Oklahomans will get $2.50 per month or less. Those who earn over $1.2 million per year will get a little over $2,000 per year. This proposed tax cut is certainly not based on the principle that those who can reasonably contribute more should do so.” -University of Oklahoma President David Boren, on Governor Fallin’s proposed budget that cuts the top income tax rate while slashing higher education and most other services (Source)
Read more about how past income tax cuts did not cause Oklahoma revenues to rise.
Reign in unnecessary tax breaks
Fast fact: For a typical unconventional oil well, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of cumulative production over the first ten years will come in the first 48 months after a well is completed. As a result, cumulative gross production tax revenue over ten years will be $630,000, which is less than half of what the state would collect ($1.4 million) without the tax break (Source)
Quotable comment: “We have too much money going out the back door in this state.” -Rep. David Dank, R-Oklahoma City, who said the huge amount of money the state has been giving back to corporations through tax credits may be a factor in Oklahoma’s budget shortfall this year (Source)
Learn how some lawmakers want to reign in horizontal drilling to fund raises for Oklahoma teachers.
Restore Education Funding
(to at least 2008 levels. COME ON! Right?)
Fast Fact: Oklahoma has 1,500 fewer classroom teachers since 2008-2009. That drop happened in the same time that students numbers increased, unfunded mandates increased and funding has been drastically cut. (Source)
Quotable comment: “Morale among K-12 educators is at an all-time low. If your boss suddenly required a 25 percent increase in your workload, added performance assessments you have only some control over (a.k.a. TLE) that could result in your termination, and hadn’t given you a raise in seven years, would you start looking for another job or retire early? Large numbers of my colleagues, as many as 70 percent at one school site, have done so in the past couple of years.” -Ponca City teacher Marisa Dye (Source: http://bit.ly/1mqPAaf)
Learn more about New York City taking tips from Oklahoma about universal pre-K.
Expand health coverage
Fast fact: All of the increased spending by the Affordable Care Act is paid for, and then some. The law includes a combination of spending cuts and tax increases that, on net, are in fact reducing the national deficit by billions of dollars. (Source)
Quotable comment: “This is allowing people to not have to stay in overworked, dead-end jobs that are probably making them sicker, any longer than they need to,”- John de Graaf, executive director of Take Back Your Time, an organization dedicated to reducing overwork speaking about the Affordable Care Act. (Source)
Read more about how the Affordable Care Act is enabling more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
Be honest, straightforward and realistic when working with legislators and their staff.
Donʹt make promises you canʹt keep. Never lie or mislead a legislator about the importance of an issue, the oppositionʹs position or strength or other matters.