A State Issue Forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight in the Ardmore Convention Center, hosted by the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, Ardmore Young Professionals and Leadership Greater Ardmore Alumni.
The event is designed to increase knowledge of state legislative issues. The programming will focus on four of the seven different state issues certified to appear on the Oklahoma ballot on Nov. 8, 2016.
The issues we will be focusing on include:
• State Question 777, which was designed to establish a constitutional guarantee for farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices
• State Question 779, which was designed to increase the state sales tax by one percent to generate revenue for education funding
• State Question 780, which was designed to reclassify certain property offenses and simple drug possession misdemeanor crimes and State Question 781 which was designed to use money saved by reclassifying certain property and drug crimes as misdemeanors outlined in State Question 780 to fund rehabilitative programs
• State Question 792, which was designed to allow grocery stores and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer and wine
Influential public policy makers and advocates on both sides of each issue will present their argument for or against the state question, and inform the public of the pros and cons. The floor will then be open to questions from attendees.
The event is free and open to the public.
The representatives who will speak on the issues include:
1. State Question 777 - Agriculture:
• In support: Michael Kelsey, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association
• In opposition: Bud Scott, Oklahomans for Food, Farm and Family
2. State Question 779 - Education Funding Tax:
• In support: Amber England, Executive Director of Stand for Children
• In opposition: Mike Brown, Mayor for the City of Weatherford
3. State Question 780/781 - Law Enforcement/Criminal Rehabilitation:
• In support: Kris Steele, former Oklahoma Speaker of the House
• In opposition: Craig Ladd, Carter County District Attorney
4. State Question 792 - Alcohol:
• In support: Clark Jolley, Oklahoma State Senator
• In opposition: Bryan Kerr, president of the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma
The speaker schedule may be subject to change without notice.