Together Tuesday Update: Forgotten Fourteen Winner and Budget Talking Points

The State Budget Response

We expect a state budget agreement to be announced by our state legislature very soon.   Are you ready to contact your legislators with your response to their proposal?

If the budget deal suggests more cuts to state agencies that have suffered through cuts for many years, and we expect it will, how will you tell your legislators that this is unacceptable?

If our legislators are suggesting that we solve our enormous budget shortfall with more one-time money solutions that don’t offer any new revenue options and no long-term strategy, how will you respond? 

They work for YOU and it is good for your legislators to hear from you before a vote goes through.

Here are some talking points I’d like to suggest:

  • Our state agencies have been cut for years and this budget will mean even more devastating cuts to education, health care, state parks. This impacts me personally because…….(briefly fill in the blank with how this impacts you).
  • Letting a tax cut go forward that was never meant to happen under these conditions is grossly irresponsible and I am frustrated that halting the tax cut wasn’t one of the options you chose for filling the budget hole.
  • One-time revenue sources you’ve chosen for filling the hole in this year’s budget won’t be available next year. This budget digs a huge hole for next year and does nothing to address our chronic budget gap
  • It is important to me and my family that Oklahoma invests in schools, health, and public safety instead of cutting taxes and ignoring tax loopholes that need to be closed.
  • Please go back to the drawing board and come up with a responsible plan that meets Oklahoma’s needs.

The budget is not a done deal until it is passed by the legislators and signed by the governor. Make sure your legislators hear from you about this today and as soon as the budget is announced!

Photo from Andy Simonds
Photo from Andy Simonds

The Winner of the Forgotten Fourteen Contest 

Congratulations to Senate District 28 for getting the largest increase in the amount of online forms sent to ask legislators to Halt the Tax cut among the Forgotten Fourteen districts.  We are glad Senator Jason Smalley heard from you!  We will be announcing details of the event to be held after session in our Together Tuesday Updates in the coming weeks.  

Invite All College Students to the Summer Policy Institute

In a final note I’d like to encourage each of you to invite all Oklahoma college students to apply for the OK Policy Summer Policy Institute.   Each year we bring together 50 college students from across the state, across many disciplines, and who have an interest in public policy and in helping Oklahoma become a better place to live for all Oklahomans. We make the program open to the best qualified students, regardless of ability to pay.

Follow this link to more SPI details and the application.  Please share it with students, professors, parents, and anyone who can send more applicants our way.

Thanks for all your efforts, make sure legislators hear from you about the budget and have a great week!