Restore Oklahoma Now statement on Status of SQ 795

This statement was released Tue, Mar 27, 2018, by Mickey Thompson, Restore Oklahoma Now executive director:
“Many Oklahomans are interested in the status of our initiative petition drive, State Question 795, and the signature gathering effort.
First, we continue to wait for the Secretary of State’s office to advise us when our 90-day window for signature gathering can begin.
Beyond that, the status of SQ 795 has not changed based on the votes on Monday night in the Oklahoma House. There is still work to be done at the State Capitol related to the teacher pay raise and restoring funds to public education.
The Restore Oklahoma Now core group remains committed to raising/spending $5 million-plus in an effort to begin to change the debate on public education in Oklahoma. What our organization will do if the legislature passes a significant pay plan for teachers is a matter of speculation, but no decisions have been made. The RON organizers will make their decision whether to pursue the petition signatures and a full-blown campaign based on a number of factors:
1) What becomes law via the current legislation;
2) What are the ultimate funding sources for the new revenue package;
3) Our assessment of the likelihood that Oklahomans would vote “yes” for a $4,000 teacher pay raise on top of whatever pay plan is approved by the legislature and the governor.
Our organization was founded to pursue initiative petitions as a source of policy-making when our legislature wouldn’t act. We began down the path toward SQ 795 with this goal: To improve funding for public education and get our teachers a pay raise.
Restore Oklahoma Now was not formed specifically to address the special tax rate on gross production tax on new wells. The funding source we selected was a result of much deliberation. It was decided to attempt to restore the GPT to 7% because we believe that is a more balanced, equitable and still competitive tax rate.
We are watching closely the deliberations at the State Capitol. We will comment further on the status of SQ 795 when we have additional information. Thank you.”

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