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Group Ready to Move Forward to Fund Oklahoma Education

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma
An American Energy Woodford well near Perkins, Okla.

A group wanting to raise gross production taxes is gearing up after the failure of Step Up Oklahoma.

Restore Oklahoma Now is proposing State Question 795 to raise GPT to 7% which will bring in an extra $288 million with most of that going to common education.

Executive Director Mickey Thompson says he delayed pushing forward while Step Up Oklahoma worked its way through the State Capitol.

“We’ve tried to be respectful of the legislative process a couple of times now in these various special sessions. Nothing has happened, so that’s why we’re in business in the first place is because the legislature has failed to act on these important issues.”

SQ 795 is also facing a delay in the State Supreme Court as the oil companies are challenging it.

Thompson says oral arguments are scheduled for March First and if all goes well the signature gathering process should begin by mid-March.

“People are so anxious to sign this petition and get to work on a campaign. I just need to encourage people to be patient until we get passed the Supreme Court Hearing and get into the 90 day process.”

Restore Oklahoma Now will have three months to gather about 122,000 signatures to put the State Question on the ballot in November.

Michael Cross is the host of KOSU's Morning Edition.
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