Seven State Questions - October 16, 2016
State Representative David Perryman
On November 8 every Oklahoman’s election ballot will include seven state questions. Four of the state questions have been placed on the ballot by the Oklahoma legislature (Legislative Referendum) and three are there because of petitions that were signed by tens of thousands of Oklahomans (Initiative Petition).
Because of the length of this year’s ballot, voters may find it helpful to review a list of the questions as it gets closer to time to vote. While I would be happy to discuss these state questions with you in depth, the following list is provided so that you can sort through which number relates to which subject:
State Question 776 was placed on the ballot by the legislature to allow the state to continue to execute condemned persons even if the law changes the method of execution. A YES vote will allow the legislature to choose an alternative method of execution and a NO vote will leave the law unchanged.
State Question 777 was placed on the ballot by the legislature to prevent new laws and regulations from being placed on the agriculture industry unless the state can show that the law is necessary to protect Oklahoma. A YES vote will require the state to prove that any new law dealing with agriculture is necessary to prevent harm to Oklahoma before it can be enforced and a NO vote will leave the law unchanged.
State Question 779 was placed on the ballot by the people of Oklahoma for a new one penny sales tax to supplement Oklahoma’s education budget. A YES vote will raise Oklahoma’s sales tax by one cent and a NO vote will leave Oklahoma’s sales tax rate unchanged.
State Question 780 was placed on the ballot by the people of Oklahoma to change certain offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. A YES vote will make simple drug possession cases misdemeanors and will raise the threshold of a felony theft from $500 to $1000. A NO vote will make these crimes continue to be classified as felonies.
State Question 781 was placed on the ballot by the people of Oklahoma so that IF the state saves money by not sending so many people to prison, the savings would be used to fund local drug treatment and counseling services. Even if this State Question passes, it will not become effective unless both 780 and it pass. A YES vote will use any savings from 780 for local drug treatment services and a NO vote would allow any savings to be appropriated by the legislature for any purpose.
State Question 790 was placed on the ballot by the legislature to repeal a section from Oklahoma’s Bill of Rights that prevents public money and property from being used for religious purposes. A YES vote will allow public money and public property to be used by religions and religious organizations. A NO vote will leave Oklahoma’s Constitutional separation of church and state unchanged.
State Question 792 was placed on the ballot by the legislature to change the places where beer and wine could be sold. A YES vote will change the law to allow grocery stores and convenience stores to sell wine and stronger beer. A NO vote will leave Oklahoma’s liquor laws as they currently exist.
Instead of standing in line to vote, you may order an ABSENTEE BALLOT between now and Wednesday, November 2.
Thank you for allowing me to serve Oklahoma. For questions or comments call me at 405-557-7401 or email me at David.Perryman@okhouse.gov.