'Take Shelter Oklahoma' Upset With Ballot Initiative Language

Tuesday, April 1st 2014, 6:26 pm
By: Karl Torp

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has weighed in on a plan to put storms shelters in schools.

"Take Shelter Oklahoma" is upset at the way it's ballot initiative was written up by the state's Attorney General.

The organization said Attorney General Scott Pruitt unfairly emphasized their plan as a major tax increase.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court said the language of the initiative will stay.

Danni Legg lost her son inside Plaza Towers Elementary School on May 20, 2013.

"I'm not giving up, because our children mean more to me than that," Legg said.

Since then, she and other families have gone door to door collecting signatures hoping to put a shelter in schools initiative on the ballot.

By law, the Attorney General writes the language of a ballot initiative. It's what voters will read on the ballot.

2/26/2014 Related Story: Take Shelter Oklahoma Storm Shelter No Longer An Option

"We believe that it overemphasizes a tax and under emphasizes tornado safety," Take Shelter Oklahoma attorney David Slane said.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court also ruled Take Shelter Oklahoma will be given a new 90 days to collect the needed signatures.

Parents like Legg said they won't go door to door this time. Instead, their attorney will try to work out a comprise on the language with Pruitt.

"I want to believe that he was elected by the people and wants to serve the people," Slane added.

"The value of a child's life is not as important to him as it is to me," Legg said about Pruitt.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt released this statement Tuesday:

"The court's ruling today affirms that my office's ballot title is legally correct, impartial and accurately reflects the effects of the proposed initiative."

If new language on the initiative gets worked out, Take Shelter Oklahoma would have a fresh 90 days to collect the 160-thousand signatures needed for a ballot measure.