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State questions to consider

With election season in full swing and the Oklahoma primary taking place this past Tuesday, Oklahomans look ahead to state questions to consider for the general election.

State Question 793

The campaign team, “Yes on 793,” describes itself as “a coalition of retailers, patients and free-market advocates that believe in common sense reform to Oklahoma’s eye care laws.” They are backing their question, which would grant optometrists and opticians the right to operate in retail.

The advocates of the initiative say those in the eye care industry would be allowed to sell merchandise to the public. Eye care facilities would also be redefined in the state constitution as “retail mercantile establishments.”

State Question 794

Marsy’s Law Crime Victim’s Right Amendment was an initiative passed by five states and is now up for vote in Oklahoma. Question 794 would expand the rights of crime victims. Specifically, crime victims would be ensured the right to be heard, to reasonable protection, to court proceedings without unreasonable delay, to talk with a prosecutor and to refuse interview requests from the defendant without a subpoena.

Under current Oklahoma statutes,  rights of crime victims are also extended to their family members. This amendment would expand the rights to those directly affected by the crime. Adults and juveniles alike would be afforded the protections.

State Question 798

In 26 states, governor and lieutenant governor are elected on one ticket. Oklahoma is one of a number of states where both positions are voted separately. Question 798 makes gubernatorial races a joined ticket starting in 2026.

Currently, ORU alumnus Matt Pinnell, candidate for lieutenant governor, has previously described the title as being a “salesman for the state.” The role is primarily focused on attracting new companies, investors and industries to the state, while also presiding as president of the Oklahoma State Senate.

State Question 800

After years of continued budget shortfalls, Question 800 is another initiative to counteract the lack of funds. The question, if passed, would set aside five percent of the tax revenue collected from oil and natural gas and put into the Oklahoma Vision Fund, which would be invested by the Oklahoma State Treasurer. The money would be invested in private companies and stocks.

Additionally, “after July 1, 2020, 4% of the fund’s principal will be deposited each year into the State’s General Revenue Fund.”

State Question 801

The final question on the general election ballot is regarding taxation. The text of the initiative reads, “This measure would provide a means for voters to allow school districts to expand the permissible uses of ad valorem tax revenues to include school operations.”

“Ad valorem tax revenues” are also referred to as local voter-approved property taxes.