After signatures thrown out, petition falls short of requirement

Washington, DC– On Thursday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court threw out an initiative petition calling for a tax and expenditure limitation set to appear on the November ballot.

 The court’s decision stated the petition did not have enough legal signatures to be placed on the ballot.  In Oklahoma it is illegal for out of state petitioners to collect signatures.  Activists turned in nearly 300,000 signatures, 80,000 more than is required to be placed on the ballot.  A Supreme Court referee disqualified 80,806 signatures for a variety of reasons, including 56,940 that were collected by ineligible circulators who lived out of state.  Recent polls had the measure’s approval rating standing at 70-75 percent. 

“The decision of the Supreme Court was unfortunate, but this does not mean the end of spending limits in Oklahoma,” stated Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, “The citizens of Oklahoma signed the petition in overwhelming numbers demanding fiscal responsibility in the legislature.  There is clear support to enact a tax and expenditure limitation in Oklahoma and eventually activists will defeat the desperate measures the spending interests use to maintain the status quo tax and spend policies currently at work in the state legislature.”  

The aptly-named “Stop Over Spending” initiative would have amended the state constitution to limit the annual growth in government.  The measure controls state expenditures to grow no faster than the rate of annual population growth plus inflation, and restricts tax increases or spending above the spending limit unless approved by voters.  Surplus revenue above the expenditure growth limit will accrue in a Rainy Day fund with a portion returned to the taxpayers.     

“While this is a set back, activists should not be discouraged and should continue their drive to enact a spending limit in Oklahoma,” continued Norquist, “Perhaps an additional project they may want to take on is term limiting judges in Oklahoma or allowing the citizens the right to recall judges.