Open Letter to the Legislature header

Honorable Members of the Oklahoma Legislature,

After months of difficult deliberations, our state finally has resolution on teacher pay. 

Strong schools and competitive teacher pay are essential to retaining quality educators, attracting businesses to our state and building a strong future workforce. We are pleased that Oklahoma is now among the top two states for teacher pay in the region and nationally competitive.

This progress is encouraging, but we need to do more to strengthen our state, stabilize our budget and make our government more effective.

These reforms, detailed in the OK2030 strategic vision plan, will help fix long-standing problems, ensure efficient government and position Oklahoma for success.

We strongly urge the Legislature to pass these 10 reforms through the bills listed below or through the Joint Committee on Appropriations & Budget:

  • Establish a budget stabilization fund to protect the budget in economic downturns (HB 1401, SJR 35)
  • Reform the criminal justice system to better focus on the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders (HB 2281, HB 2286, SB 649, SB 650, SB 689, SB 786, SB 793, SB 1098)
  • Create an independent body to evaluate and make recommendations on regulations identified as redundant, outdated or overly burdensome
  • Restructure teacher certifications to build in separate paths toward advancement within the profession (SB 980)
  • Run the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket to encourage collaboration and unified vision for our state (SJR 66)
  • Employ smart, flexible incentives like the Quick Action Closing Fund to give Oklahoma a competitive edge in attracting new businesses (HB 3324)
  • Pass line-item budgets for the state’s largest agencies to ensure accountability in state spending
  • Create an independent commission to make data-based recommendations on streamlining our school system to realize administrative savings
  • Grant the Governor direct appointment power over state agency directors (HB 3036, HB 3209, HB 3603)
  • Reform the state’s school funding formula to one that is student-centered, incentivizes improved outcomes and is equitable for all students (HB 2860, SB 929, SB 1398, SJR 70)

Without reform and elevated expectations, our state will remain mired in the same problems, year after year. We ask you to implement these reforms swiftly and set our state on a better course.


Rick Nagel
Acorn Growth Companies
Kevin Gross
Hillcrest HealthCare System 
Bradley W. Krieger
Arvest Bank
Chris Hitch
Hitch Enterprises, Inc.
Steve Hahn
Bill Schonacher
IBC Bank
Mark W. Funke
Bank SNB
Xavier Neira
Manhattan Construction Company
Rex Horning
Bank SNB
Sean Trauschke
OGE Energy Corp.
M. Ted Haynes
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Rick Grundman
Oklahoma Natural Gas
Steven D. Hendrickson
The Boeing Company
Stuart Solomon
Public Service Company of Oklahoma
Bill Lance
Chickasaw Nation
Steve Morrow
Scott Rice
Kristin Peck
Cox Communications, Inc.
Steve Slawson
Slawson Exploration Company, Inc.
J. Larry Nichols
Devon Energy Corporation
Lindel Fields
Tri County Tech
Bob Funk Jr.
Express Employment Professionals
Becky Payton
Mercy Health
Greg Massey
First United Bank
H.J. Reed
Phillips 66

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