The drive to put storm shelters in all Oklahoma public schools is shifting back into high gear.
Take Shelter Oklahoma, a self-described grass roots campaign that has already tried once to put a school shelter funding initiative on the ballot, announced the launch of a second initiative today.
The first petition drive, orchestrated last fall, got bogged down in politics and a legal challenge over the petition's language, and fell well short of the required number of votes.
David Slane, an attorney speaking on behalf of the group, says they learned important lessons from the first go-round and are confident the result will be different this time.
The ultimate goal hasn't changed -- a $500 million bond issue to fund new storm shelters, retrofits, upgrades to existing structures or security measures at schools.
This time, however, Take Shelter Oklahoma proposes repaying the debt with money that would come directly from the state's general revenue fund over 25 years.
Under the first initiative, the debt payments were going to come from the state's franchise tax.
Proponents of the petition drive say this is too important to fail a second time.
"No child in the state of Oklahoma should ever worry about the building around them, and are they safe at school," said Danni Legg, whose son Christopher was one of the seven children killed at Plaza Towers elementary school in the May 20, 2013 tornado. "They're required by law to go to school, they should be safe at school."
"I plead with everybody," exclaimed Mikki Davis, whose son Kyle also perished at Plaza Towers. "Please, get some of these petitions, sign them, take them to every event you go to."
Legally, the group can start collecting signatures tomorrow. They have 90 days to collect 156,000 signatures.
They say they plan to be out in all 77 counties over the holiday weekend.