While I strongly support a teacher pay raise, I worry that teachers may be dismissed as self-interested. Teachers should make it clear that we’re part of a team seeking to protect our state’s future. Maybe an app is the answer. When an interest group — no matter how worthy it is — makes a demand, the app could flesh out the statement.
Teachers need a pay raise, and we need it just as soon as our kids’ CHIP health insurance funding is secured;
State workers need a pay raise, and they need it just as soon as the Earned Income Tax Credit’s refundability is restored for low-income people;
Sooner Care funding for Medicaid recipients must be fixed, as mental health services are restored;
The University of Oklahoma’s and the Oklahoma State University’s medical centers need financial assistance, as the Oklahoma Health Care Authority is rescued;
Higher education funding must be restored, just as soon as early education is protected;
Prison guards need a pay raise, and they need it as former felons regain their voting rights;
The incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders must be curtailed, as we take legal action against the pharmaceutical companies who helped create the opioid crisis;
The school to prison pipeline must be plugged, as we restore electives and extracurricular activities in schools;
The future of rural hospitals must be protected, as the survival of nursing homes is secured;
We need to pay for clean energy, solar as well as wind energy, while we clean up our Superfund sites;
Our democracy must be reclaimed from ALEC, the Koch brothers, Robert Mercer, and the corporate school reformers’ “Billionaires Boys Club,” and that can happen when we stop extreme legislative gerrymandering;
The gross production tax must be raised to 7 percent, at least, and that can be done when Harold Hamm is deposed as the uncrowned ruler of Oklahoma … (never mind, that ain’t gonna happen); and
Oklahoma needs to fix its budget shortfall, as soon as the pot holes in front of my house are filled.
(Correction: This commentary originally published with the wrong byline attached to it. NonDoc regrets the error.)