Yesterday Let's Fix This stood with nearly two dozen nonprofit and professional organizations to announce the Save Our State budget plan. This three-year budget blueprint is far more than just the gimmicky fixes that the legislature often passes - this plan puts Oklahoma on a real, sustainable path to prosperity. It steers us away from more devastating budget cuts and allows us to actually invest in education, public safety, healthcare, and transportation.
You probably know the phrase "We're all in this together," and this budget plan definitely embodies that idea. It's broad-based and reflects the ideals of the democratic republic in which we live - if everyone gives a little, we all get a lot in return. Rich and poor, sales and services, oil and wind, public and private - everybody chips in to share the responsibility for helping Oklahoma reach it's full potential.
This isn't the only budget plan out there. Governor Fallin announced her plan at the beginning of session, and it has a few strong components. The House Democrats released their "Restoring Oklahoma" budget plan a few weeks ago, and it's pretty solid, too. We chose to join the SOS Coalition because we believe this budget plan is the best recipe for Oklahoma's success. Like any good recipe, ingredients and proportions matter. We encourage lawmakers to not pick and choose just the things they like best; we encourage them to consider the plan as a whole. Think of it like baking a cake - if you leave out some of the ingredients, it's not going to work. In fact, it's going to be a disaster. You can't use just flour and sugar and expect to have a cake that tastes good; you'll just have a pile of dry powder that no one wants. Likewise, you can't just use sugar and eggs. Will it sweet? Yes, it'll also be really gross. Oklahoma deserves better.
Oklahoma deserves a DAMN good cake.
The SOS budget blueprint is based on five key things:
- Address the overall budget situation, not just the public education crisis. The plan ensures there will be enough revenue to avert further budget cuts and invest in key priorities.
- Acknowledge revenue is part of the problem and modernize the tax system while ending special interest giveaways.
- Look beyond the current crisis and propose realistic solutions to structural budget problems plaguing the state.
- Propose reforms to budgeting practices that will increase legislative oversight and reduce the potential for future revenue failures.
- Model the transparency we believe our elected officials should adopt.
Fixing a state is a big task, but it's not insurmountable. We believe that with this plan and your help, together, we can fix this. Visit SaveOurStateOK.org to pledge your support, and then use this 30-second guide to put your support into action.