Reactions To ‘Step Up Oklahoma’ Plan Continue To Come In - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Reactions To ‘Step Up Oklahoma’ Plan Continue To Come In

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Reactions continue to come in about the Step Up Oklahoma plan, a reform and revenue-raising proposal from a coalition of business, civic and community leaders across the state. There was also a letter sent to members of The Wind Coalition on Monday, inviting them to the coalition for a discussion of issues that impact Oklahomans.

Details of the plan were introduced Jan. 11 in a press conference held at the Oklahoma History Center. David Rainbolt, executive chairman of BancFirst Corp., announced the plan and took questions from the press alongside Tucker Link, the chairman of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents, and Glenn Coffee, attorney with Glenn Coffee & Associates in Oklahoma City. Coffee was a state senator from 1999 to 2011 and served two years as Oklahoma's secretary of state under Gov. Mary Fallin.

Related Story: 1/11/2018 Business Leaders Discuss Details of ‘Step Up Oklahoma’ Plan

The House Democratic Caucus released this statement Thursday afternoon:

"We are appreciative of the members of the business community who recognize that the failed Republican fiscal policy is the cause of Oklahoma's current budget crisis.

However, we believe the plan presented today is lacking in important details, and our caucus is hesitant to endorse the proposal at this time, especially given the stark lack of diversity among the members of the coalition. We will be discussing the plan with members of our communities and districts and also with stakeholders who were left out of the coalition, such as the wind industry, state employees, teachers, correctional officers, and working families who have been adversely impacted by devastating budget cuts.

House Democrats released a budget plan almost a year ago, the Restoring Oklahoma Plan. We are encouraged that Step Up Oklahoma's proposal incorporated portions of that Plan, such as the Gross Production Tax and the Personal Income Tax, but again, those portions of the proposal are severely lacking in details.

The House Democrats and Step Up Oklahoma seem unified in the belief that if we don't invest in Oklahoma teachers, public employees, healthcare, education, roads, and corrections, our entire state economy is left in peril. The House Democratic Caucus is ready to work with Step Up Oklahoma to build on this common ground and form a budget solution that works for all Oklahomans."

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister issued these remarks about the proposal:

"I want to commend the business and community leaders who have stepped up during a difficult time to help solve our state's budget crisis and fund a long-overdue teacher pay raise. I am greatly encouraged by their efforts, and I thank them for caring enough about public education to pursue solutions. Their engagement should give parents and teachers hope for a more promising future."

Wednesday, Jan. 17, the Oklahoma Education Association announced they are in support of Step Up Oklahoma as long as they fight for a teacher pay raise. 

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