Oklahoma needs major changes. Our state is broke, our classrooms are overcrowded, and teachers are fleeing the state. Rural hospitals are closing, and corporate monopolies are jacking up health care rates and prescription drug costs.
And with all these challenges, our governor and legislature seem more focused on protecting corporate lobbyists than working for the people. Our kids, our families, our farmers and our small businesses are suffering from this failure of leadership.
SO WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS MESS?
Oklahoma doesn’t need ideological extremism from either side. We don’t need partisanship or platitudes. We need responsible, experienced leadership, the courage to stand-up to special interests, and a thoughtful plan to get our state working again:
#1 – FIX OUR SCHOOLS
Our kids are our future, and right now we’re failing them. If we want to grow our businesses and attract new ones, we must have the entrepreneurs and skilled workers to support them. How can we ask companies to invest in Oklahoma if we refuse to invest in Oklahomans?
- Our teachers need more than one pay raise in ten years. Our state needs to compensate them fairly for the hard work they do for our kids and our state.
- School funding doesn’t end with teacher pay. Our kids’ textbooks are being held together with duct tape. We need more teachers, smaller class sizes and administrative accountability.
- Pre-K should be available to every student, at every school. Oklahoma’s children deserve a world-class education. That starts with Pre-K.
- While our schools need real investments, our bureaucracy can be streamlined so we can put more money back into the classrooms.
#2 – FIX OUR BROKEN GOVERNMENT
The budget should be written for Oklahomans not lobbyists
Our budget process is broken and our priorities have been lost. Legislators are neglecting middle-class families while rewarding special interests.
- To invest in our people, I’ll close corporate tax loopholes in the state and expand tax deductions for middle-class Oklahomans and small businesses.
- Let’s crack down on those who broke it — we need new transparency rules to crack down on the lobbying industry and corrupt political donations.
- I’ll establish an Office of Open Government within the governor’s office to facilitate the public’s right to know. The Fallin administration’s practice of stonewalling the public ends with me.
#3 – NO TAX INCREASE ON OKLAHOMA FAMILIES
It’s not the fault of Oklahoma families that we’re in this mess, and I’m sure not going to make them shoulder the load to fix it. My plan pays for investments in education without raising taxes on Oklahoma families:
- End the special tax break for oil and gas corporations by restoring the gross production tax on horizontally drilled wells to where it was before: 7%
- End the capital gains deduction loophole that mostly benefits taxpayers making over $1 million per year.
- Add a 50 cent per pack increase to the cigarette tax
- No increase in the income tax
#4 – PUT PEOPLE FIRST ON HEALTHCARE
Every Oklahoman should be free to choose the best health care for themselves. Our governor’s decision to reject Medicaid expansion not only robbed tens of thousands of health care, it created an insurance monopoly that robbed Oklahomans of choice and let the insurance companies set sky-high rates. It also crippled the ability of our state’s rural hospitals to provide care to low-income Oklahomans and put enormous pressure on local economies across the state.
Let’s put people first on healthcare:
- I’ll reverse our legislature’s harmful decision to reject Medicaid expansion funds. >
- We need to bring both parties together and consider every option to make sure our health care market is competitive, affordable and working for our families, not insurance companies.
- To tackle out-of-control prescription costs, we will force the negotiation of price increases, sue companies that manipulate costs and import drugs from Canada where it is safe and effective to do so.
- Finally, we must keep our promise to our veterans — and make sure they are treated with the respect they’ve earned. That starts by ensuring the best medical and mental health care we can provide, and improving education benefits and veterans’ employment.
THE END OF THE FALLIN ADMINISTRATION MARKS A NEW BEGINNING FOR OKLAHOMANS.
We need to be honest with ourselves: none of this is going to be easy. Our state is in serious trouble, and there’s no magic wand.
But hard work doesn’t discourage us. We’re Oklahomans. We can roll up our sleeves, put aside our divisions, and get real results — to fix our schools, protect our veterans, and get affordable access to healthcare. This isn’t a partisan fight, it’s a fight for Oklahoma’s future. And it’s one we can win.
That’s my charge, and I hope you’ll join with me.