February was a busy month for us with our regular monthly meetings, the Republican Gubernatorial candidate debate and the Oklahoma Growth and Opportunity Summit - you met candidates and heard from experts and gained a better understanding of our budget process. If you were able to attend the Oklahoma Growth and Opportunity Summit, thank you for your time and eagerness to educate yourself on the state budget. If you were unable to attend, I am posting links to the video taken of the GO Summit.
Last week was a busy week for activists. Gov Fallin signed the 2018 budget without tax increases, thus ending the second special session. Thank you for your calls and emails to your legislators encouraging them to stand firm, demand accountability and transparency.
A number of conservative bloggers worked to put together a platform/conservative index covering both 2017 special sessions regarding the state budget. A handful of Republicans and Democrats fought to keep from raising taxes on ALL Oklahomans, hurting those that can least afford it. We need to show our appreciation to the representatives and senators that stood firm on their conservative principles, demanding accountability (audits), and transparency from the agencies that receive taxpayer dollars. Check out the Platform/Conservative Index here. Say "thank you" to these warriors who took the heat from leadership, the governor and the public for their defense of the "Forgotten Man," the taxpayer.
The Platform Caucus has been hard at work to find the monies necessary to give classroom teachers a pay raise WITHOUT raising your taxes, using funding that is already available for the express purpose of education. There are Republicans opposing this.
Rep. Tom Gann is the lead author of a bill (HB3440) which taps into a long-disguised trust fund which has over $2 billion dollars and is accruing about $300 million in dividends annually. It's been called the School Land Trust. It was created at the time of statehood and is designed to assist in the expense of public common education.
Rep. John Bennett is another House author. Here's his explanation of how he & Gann, and some other Platform Caucus members may very well provide the teacher pay raise that no other faction at the capitol has been able to accomplish in nearly 10 years.
Now teachers are talking about staging a walk out to strong arm the legislature into giving teachers a raise, without allowing the process to work. Oh, and in this petition they are demanding a $10,000 pay raise. Does the madness never cease? We are going to have our hands full between now and the completion of the legislative session. Most of us, I believe, support teacher pay raises. We do not support walk outs. It is a bully tactic. A walk-out punishes only the children and the parents.
Oklahoma Growth and Opportunity Summit Videos - Find them here
Meet the candidate series continues this Thursday, March 8, 2018. Kevin Hern, Republican Candidate for Congress (CD-1) and Dominique Block, Republican Candidate for Lt. Governor will be our candidates this week. To find out more information about them and to RSVP click here.
Tulsa 9.12 Project