Questioning 744

Regarding Emily Jerman’s “An education,” Aug. 25, 2010, Gazette:

Passing State Question 744 would increase funding for public education by an estimated $1.7 billion over a three-year phase-in period. If we don’t bring in more state revenues through substantial tax increases, SQ 744 will force deep spending cuts to other critical areas of state government, including public safety, social services, health care and higher education.

Are we sure education is always more important than funding for senior meals, Medicaid (which brings in federal match dollars), jobs for people with disabilities or recovery after a natural disaster? Oklahoma must also replace over $1 billion in its regular budget by somehow cutting services because revenues are down. Oklahoma legislators are supposed to review and make hard choices on the state budget ” not abdicate this responsibility to a binding vote of the people.

Passing SQ 744 would take these decisions out of the hands of the people who are represented by their legislators, thus forcing priority funding for a single area of state service without even knowing what budgetary challenges lie ahead. Sorry, but I am opposed ” not to education ” but to SQ 744.

“Jackie Gaston

Jackie Gaston

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