A new poll shows broad support for the Step Up Oklahoma budget plan that was introduced by local civic and business leaders.
The survey from SoonerPoll shows nearly 70 percent of likely Oklahoma voters approve of the budget fix to raise $780 million in revenue through increased taxes in cigarettes, oil and gas, fuel, wind power and income.
SoonerPoll founder Bill Shapard says this shows has broad based support.
"Not only across party, but across income levels, across education levels, across anywhere in the state – all the Congressional districts. Oklahomans see this as an opportunity to fix the crisis that we’ve got going. And, they see this plan as the way to do it."
The money raised from the tax increases would be targeted to help struggling rural hospitals and nursing homes, as well as providing for a teacher pay raise.
BancFirst Executive David Rainbolt, one of the supporters of the Step Up Oklahoma plan, says the poll also has 63 percent approval from respondents who say Oklahoma taxes are too high.
"What that tells me is that we’re on to something here... that Oklahomans, regardless of their political affiliation, regardless of how they feel about taxes, think that these problems need to be solved and this is the way to solve it. And now is the time to do it."
According to the poll, the Step Up Oklahoma plan gets support from more than 66 percent of Republicans, nearly 72 percent of Democrats and about 73 percent of Independents.
The measures are expected to be taken up this week in committee and, if passed, will move on to the House Floor next week.
Republican leaders say they have enough support from their caucus, but will still need help from Democrats to reach the 75 percent approval required by the constitution.