State employees push for tax hikes

Tuesday, April 8th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- State workers are vowing to keep heat on the Legislature to raise new revenue and protect state services and jobs.

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association is urging lawmakers to raise cigarette taxes and eliminate some state sale tax exemptions.

They're also calling for passage of prison reform measures before the Legislature adjourns in May to cut incarceration rates and costs.

The OPEA says some state agencies face budget cuts of up to 20 percent next year due to the budget shortfall.

OPEA President Ty Todd says Oklahomans won't receive the services they deserve if revenue isn't enhanced.

Todd says Oklahoma ranks 49th nationally in the amount taxpayers spend on state and local government.