SQ801 could alleviate some of the problems that led to 2018’s teacher strikes. courtesy Flickr

State questions on the ballot

The ballot in November will include five state questions on varied topics.

Besides the candidates for governor, there will be five state questions on the ballot in the upcoming Nov. 6 gubernatorial election in Oklahoma. Here’s what you need to know about each of them:

State Question 793 – This question, if passed, would allow optometrists to practice in retail spaces. Currently, any practice that sells prescription eyewear must make more than 50 percent of revenue from eye care or they must have an entrance separate from the retail space. This measure would change that, with the the idea being that optometrists would be able to operate outside of medical offices in large retail spaces like malls or Walmart. This would potentially make eyecare less expensive for the consumer.

State Question 794 – Also known as “Marsy’s Law,” SQ794 advocates for more protection for crime victims during the time offenders face trial. If passed, the measure would allow for victims to be informed about general court proceedings as well as have an opportunity to speak during hearings. Additionally, victims would be able to speak with the prosecutor on request. Started in California, the measure has since been passed in five other states, although it has recently been ruled as unconstitutional by the Montana Supreme Court. Those who oppose the bill claim that the measure would be a strain financially and could interfere with the offender’s case.

State Question 798 – Up until this point, the Oklahoma governor and lieutenant governor have been able to run on seperate tickets. SQ798, however, would require that they run together on one ticket. This would mean that the governor and lieutenant governor would have to be from the same party, a change that could lead to more unification in governing, as well as more partisan power.

State Question 800 – If passed, this measure would create a trust fund called the Oklahoma Vision Fund, which would take five percent of taxes on the oil and gas industry and put them in an emergency reserve fund. This would be the third emergency reserve approved in Oklahoma, with the key difference being that money would be placed in the reserve on a yearly basis. The measure aims to take advantage of the oil and gas industry’s significant presence in the state, and the amount of tax taken from the industry would rise by two-tenths of a percent every year. A set amount of money from the Vision Fund would be spent per year, with allowances for the state to pay off debts and invest in local government.

State Question 801 – This question, if passed, would loosen the restriction on school millages and how tax dollars are spent on schools. Currently, schools are only permitted to use the money on maintenance and building upkeep. This measure would allow each school to use this money as they see fit. The allotted funds could be used on teacher pay raises, or additional personnel in large classrooms. The measure would not provide any more funds for schools, but rather, hopes to more effectively use money already provided.

Post Author: Emma Palmer