Well friends, our Oklahoma legislature didn’t go into special session to fix the budget crisis. More damage will be done to our state, and there’s no point in waiting for someone else to fix it. Our trust is eroded and our frustration is high. Oklahoma can and must do better!
But that is not the only story this session! I want to remind everyone how extremely proud we should be of our statewide team effort as part of the Save Our State Campaign! In years past we’ve invited citizen advocates to join us at the Capitol and almost no one took us up on that offer. This year was different and it showed in the way our legislators reacted to us. We all kept calling and coming to the Capitol to witness their work and share our stories. There were deals being made at midnight and tense discussions to try to get a good deal. They are not used to having so much input from their constituents, but I reckon they’ll have to get used to it. Usually a bad budget passes without much push back but those days are past. It is time for ALL of them to learn how to work WITH their constituents as a team. Those of us most enmeshed in the work see the tides turning and your continued involvement is vital to keep that momentum. Many of us read OK Policy’s statement in response to the bad budget and the disappointing end to session, took a look at this spreadsheet of how our own two legislators voted, and immediately began writing letters to our legislators to express our thanks or to ask questions about our concerns, because we know that to get them to do better they need to see that we are paying attention. Thank you all so much for your efforts both great and small! The session may be over but our resolution to make Oklahoma better is enduring.