The Oklahoma Senate Democratic caucus issued a statement today through their leader, Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, commenting on the special session of the Oklahoma Legislature scheduled to begin on Monday, September 25, 2017:
The Senate Democrats have spent the last several weeks meeting with those involved in the upcoming special session of the legislature as well as those affected by the decisions made in this special session.
Members of our caucus have held meetings with constituents concerned about potential cuts to core services or regressive taxes which will burden them disproportionately, we have engaged in negotiations with the Governor and her staff, Senate Republicans and House Democrats, and we have held a caucus meeting where we heard from the heads of the healthcare agencies facing the possibility of running out of money before the end of the year and being forced to cut services to some of Oklahomas most vulnerable people.
After all these meetings, we are more sure than ever that this special session of the legislature needs to be swift and certain with real plans for recurring revenue for our state. Now more than ever, we know that the numbers dont lie. We cannot simply show up on Monday, decide that finding hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue is too hard, waste hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money on a special session with no plan and no direction, and settle on across the board cuts that affect millions of hard working Oklahomans and their families.
Now more than ever, we are certain that this is the time for a plan of action, actual compromise, true accountability and real results. This is the time for leadership and a long-term plan for our state and its people.
We owe it to our constituents to focus on a long-term budget solution which protects the most basic, core government functions and services without balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and the vulnerable. This is what our constituents demand of us and what they deserve from each and every one of us, with no exceptions and no excuses.