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Vote ‘yes’ on State Question 800

Posted

To the Editor:

In my years as a farmer, I learned very early that among the essentials for success was setting money aside for the unpredictable, because the unpredictable always comes sooner or later. What I came to understand in my time in public service and running a farm or business are not all that different. It’s one of the reasons I first decided to run for office. Our state needs leaders who understand sound financial management because people’s lives literally depend on it. The recent crash in the global oil and natural gas industry was both unforeseen and unrelenting. Thousands of businesses and numerous states were driven into deficits or forced to cut budgets.

Because Oklahoma relies so heavily on this critical industry, which has done so much good for our state, we were not immune to such a historic collapse in prices. But we’ve been here before.

After a similar oil crash in the 1980s, our state leaders failed to learn a critical lesson and prepare for the unpredictable. So when another crash came around, we found ourselves in much the same situation.

It’s finally time finally to put Oklahoma’s financial house in order — no different than any small business owner or farmer would expect — by setting some of our money aside while we’re doing well. And that’s exactly what State Question 800, creating the Oklahoma Vision Fund, will do if voters approve it on Nov. 6.

SQ 800 is a very simple measure that puts into place a small set-aside of existing tax revenue that will guarantee funding for important priorities like education, health care and infrastructure during the lean years. Best of all, SQ 800 gives funding guarantees without the need for more tax hikes on individuals or businesses.

It’s a measure that, frankly, should have been in place generations ago. Financially, now is the time to prepare for the unpredictable and start saving for the future.

When the next downturn in the global economy hits home, let’s be sure we’re ready. Vote “Yes” on SQ 800.

State Sen. Mike Schulz

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