Thank you, advocates!

The 2019 legislative session has come to a close. Thanks to last year’s revenue package and a strong economy, the state budget is in a much stronger position. Teachers got a pay raise and our schools got a small funding boost. Nearly 1,000 people serving time for simple drug possession will have a chance to have their sentences commuted, and occupational licenses will be more accessible for people with a criminal history.

Legislators had a lot of missed opportunities as well. Over 100,000 people will continue to go without health insurance because of the Legislature’s failure to expand health coverage. Thousands will continue to sit in jail because they can’t afford to buy their freedom from a bondsman. School funding remains below levels of a decade ago. Working families will go without the full-worth of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and state retirees will go without a cost-of-living adjustment.

We still have work to do next session, but I know we’ll get it done because of how many of you are making your voices heard. Here are just some of the things you accomplished.

Over 300 people attended the Rally for Coverage, and nearly 1,000 letters were sent telling legislators to accept federal funding to expand health care coverage. We hosted health care forums like this across the state, and our members reached out at Hustle for Health Care events asking people in their communities to take action.

Over 200 people came out to criminal justice forums in Norman and Ardmore to learn about the biggest problems facing our criminal justice system and how to take action.

TOK members went to the Capitol to urge their lawmakers to end predatory lending in Oklahoma.

And most importantly, TOK members did what they do best–build relationships with our legislators and stay engaged in the legislative process.

Together we’ll continue to make our state a great place that works for all Oklahomans. Please consider a donation so we can elevate the voices of people across the state and make Oklahoma prosper. Thank you for your work this session, and I look forward to building on the progress made!

Published by Sabine Brown

Sabine Brown joined the Oklahoma Policy Institute as Housing Senior Policy Analyst in January 2022. She previously worked at OK Policy from January 2018 until September 2020 as the Outreach and Legislative Director, and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. Before joining OK Policy she served as the Oklahoma Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Sabine also earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Health Science from the University of Oklahoma and was a physician assistant prior to discovering advocacy work. She grew up in Germany but has called Oklahoma home since 1998.