First of all, I would like to say that it is heartwarming and inspiring to see how Oklahomans and the nation have come together to help tornado victims. Through in-depth news reports and stories, many of us have witnessed the fear, the pain, and the devastation that our neighbors have suffered and we have banded together to help them recover by offering our support.
After what has happened in Moore, Shawnee, Carney, and Bethel Acres, I too, looked for a way that I could help make a difference in addition to the financial contributions I had made. Since the storm, I have signed several petitions that asked the state of Oklahoma to mandate shelters and safe rooms at all Oklahoma schools. Then, I began to read Facebook posts from past/present school administrators and past/present school board members stating that they, too, would like to see storm shelters and safe rooms available to all students but the problem was, unless the mandate came with additional funding, many schools could not afford the massive expense of building shelters because their budgets were already stretched thin.
Their dilemma coupled with the need for shelters in every Oklahoma school was the impetus for me to start a petition on Change.Org asking that Governor Fallin and the State Legislature repeal the recently enacted state income tax rate cut and redirect that money to help Oklahoma schools build storm shelters. (This proposal wouldn't raise anyone's taxes nor would it place any undue hardship on Oklahoma Schools, budget-wise.)
The tax cut has not gone into effect so no taxes will be raised as a result. The average citizen would only see approximately $80 added annually to their net income if the state income tax cut was implemented ( The tax cut reduced the tax rate from 5.25% to 4.85% over two years). I also believe that all Oklahoma citizens would be willing to continue paying that .004% a year in taxes to help build storm shelters for all schools in Oklahoma.
I am happy to announce that one of the signers on the petition is State Rep. Joe Dorman from Rush Springs, OK, who recently introduced legislation in the House to help fund storm shelters in all Oklahoma Schools.
My request is that you read the petition, consider signing it, and then help spread the news about the petition to your friends, family, contacts, etc. and offer them the opportunity to help support this cause.
Please help us protect Oklahoma's children by assisting us in getting the word out about this petition. Any help that you can provide to us will be greatly appreciated! As we begin the process of getting this petition "up and running", I like to think that nothing is impossible when you have the well-being of others at heart. Thank you for your time and consideration!