Key Piece Of Step Up Oklahoma Plan Stalled On House Floor

See how state lawmakers voted on House Bill 1033xx

'It’s disappointing something couldn’t be done': Teacher pay draws thousands to Capitol, but they leave empty-handed

Transcript: Reps. Scott Inman and Charles McCall debate on Step Up Oklahoma revenue plan

Photo Gallery: Thousands of Oklahoma teachers gather at the Capitol

Mike Strain and Wayne Greene analyze the stalled vote on revenue bill for teacher pay


There will be no second chance for teacher pay raises or additional state revenue, House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said late Monday after the failure of House Bill 1033xx, the $581 million cornerstone of a revenue and reform package promoted by business interests and adopted by GOP leadership.

McCall said he would leave the vote open until midnight, but then he closed the vote at 11:02 p.m. The yes votes had been hung on 63 for more than five hours at the time of McCall's statement, with 76 needed for passage in the House under the constitution's supermajority requirement.

McCall, Majority Leader Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, and representatives from the Step Up Oklahoma coalition, the Oklahoma Education Association and the Oklahoma Public Employees Association met with reporters after 9:30 p.m. and directed their ire at the 17 Democrats among the 35 no votes.

Scott Meacham, a former Democratic state treasurer who was one of Gov. Brad Henry's chief lieutenants, was brought in to negotiate with Democratic leadership to no avail. Meacham said a $67 million public employee raise was put on the table.

"I fear we have lost an historic opportunity," Meacham said.

Meacham and Echols also blamed the wind industry, which objected to a new tax on renewable energy generation.

"I want to be clear (that) this is the best shot at new revenue," said McCall. "There won't be another package considered."

Rep. Eric Proctor, D-Tulsa, one of the Democrats who voted against the bill, was skeptical.

"There's no Plan B, but suddenly there's a public employee pay raise that didn't exist six hours ago?" Proctor said.

He said the state budget should be negotiated by elected officials and not "millionaire CEOs" — a reference to the Step Up coalition.

House Democrats later sent out a lengthy rebuttal that said they would vote for "a plan that addresses the state's long-term financial needs and ensures tax fairness."

HB 1033xx would raise gross production, tobacco and fuel taxes and institute a new tax on renewable energy production. Almost two-thirds of the Democratic minority voted against it because, they said, it doesn't go far enough in reversing tax cuts of the past decade.

About a fourth of Republicans voted against the bill, mostly because they didn't want to raise taxes that much, if at all.

Had it passed, HB 1033xx would have opened the way for a series of bills that included an income tax increase, several smaller revenue bills, and a $5,000 annual salary increase for the state's public school teachers.

Republican leadership insisted through the afternoon's discussion and debate that this was their best offer.

"This is absolutely the best chance to pass recurring revenue," Appropriations and Budget Chairman Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, said at one point.

"In fact," he said a few minutes later, "I would say it is the only chance."

The bill even brought McCall to the well for a rare debate appearance. The bill wasn't perfect, he said, but it would have moved the state in the right direction.

Rep. Roger Ford, R-Midwest City, said those arguing that the bill wasn't big enough would have refused to leave the Titanic because the life boats weren't big enough.

"We are bleeding out," said Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang.

Some Democrats agreed, but not as many as voted for a similar bill that had as many as 72 votes last fall.

Some Democrats said that experience caused them to doubt that HB 1033xx is really the last best deal possible.

"Everytime we've had a last best offer before, we've had something better follow it," said Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-Oklahoma City.

During debate, Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, said Republicans had tried to open negotiations even as the bill was being presented.

Ladies and gentlemen, I promise you we will have another shot at this," said Rep. Scott Inman, D-Del City. "If we don't, the (Republicans) will be to blame, because the people in charge of this building can run any bill they want any time they want."

“Today’s vote was not the last vote,” agreed Senate Minority Leader John Sparks, D-Norman.

“Today’s vote was the result of an artificial deadline. There is still more than enough time to to come to a workable solution."


Oklahoma House Democrats released the following statement regarding the failure of House Bill 1033 late Monday:

For a year, revenue options have been presented, debated and voted down in this Chamber. In that time, the word compromise has been skewed to the point where it now seems to mean blind acceptance without any real dialogue or negotiation. While the House Democratic Caucus had members on both sides of the vote today, we are unified in our belief that the bill presented today was far from equitable and left unaddressed many of our state's needs. This bill sought to mend some of our state’s problems with taxes that asked working families to pay more while asking very little of those at the top and the oil & gas industry.

With the support of our constituents, we stand ready to put 28 votes on the board for a plan that addresses the state’s long-term financial needs and ensures tax fairness among all classes and industries. If Republicans insist on a revenue plan that includes taxes that disproportionately affect low and middle income Oklahomans, like the fuel and cigarette taxes, then they must also include:

1) an equitable income tax plan that includes restoration of the top income tax rate of 5.25% on high earners, reinstatement of the earned income tax credit for low income Oklahomans, and an increase in the standard deduction for middle class Oklahomans,

2) A gross production tax equal to the current top income tax rate of 5%

3) An end to the retaliatory attempts to double-tax renewable energy that only serve to hurt both the state's energy diversification and the ability to recruit next century jobs.

4) An immediate pay increase for both state employees and teachers.

We recognize that this is only the second week of a four-month-long legislative session and know that the will to negotiate a better plan still exists on both sides of the aisle. We look forward to working with our Republican colleagues to put forth a plan that is good for all Oklahomans, not just a select few."


The story below is the version that appears in Tuesday's Tulsa World.


OKLAHOMA CITY — There will be no second chance for teacher pay raises or additional state revenue, Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said late Monday after the apparent failure of House Bill 1033xx, the $581 million cornerstone of a revenue and reform package promoted by business interests and adopted by GOP leadership.

The vote was closed at 11:02 p.m., sending HB 1033xx into defeat. Five hours after the vote opened, the yes votes stood at 63, far short of the 76 needed for passage in the House under the state constitution’s supermajority requirement.

What happens now is unclear.

img src="https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/tulsaworld.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/53/e53c8ac6-7c45-11e7-8d8e-c7329919b352/5989cab92034f.image.png"">>

Support journalism that makes a difference.

Start a digital subscription for only $0.99.

House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, was headed for Gov. Mary Fallin’s office as soon as it became clear that the bill had failed. Echols said whatever comes next will not be as good as the bill that failed Monday.

Members lingered in the chamber and House offices, however, suggesting discussions of some kind were ongoing.

HB 1033xx would have raised gross production, tobacco and fuel taxes and instituted a new tax on renewable energy production. Almost two-thirds of the Democratic minority voted against it because, they said, it didn’t go far enough in reversing the tax cuts of the past decade.

About a fourth of Republicans voted against the bill, mostly because they didn’t want to raise taxes that much, if at all.

Had it passed, HB 1033xx would have opened the way for a series of bills that included an income tax increase, several smaller revenue bills and a $5,000 annual salary increase for the state’s public school teachers.

Republican leadership insisted through the afternoon’s discussion and debate that this was their best offer.

“This is absolutely the best chance to pass recurring revenue,” Appropriations and Budget Committee Chairman Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, said at one point.

“In fact,” he said a few minutes later, “I would say it is the only chance.”

The bill even brought McCall, R-Atoka, to the well for a rare debate appearance. The bill wasn’t perfect, he said, but it would move the state in the right direction.

Rep. Roger Ford, R-Midwest City, said those arguing that the bill was not big enough would have refused to leave the Titanic because the life boats weren’t big enough.

“We are bleeding out,” said Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang.

Some Democrats agreed, but not as many as voted for a similar bill that had as many as 72 votes last fall.

Some Democrats said that experience caused them to doubt HB 1033xx is really the last best deal possible.

“Every time we’ve had a last best offer before, we’ve had something better follow it,” said Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-Oklahoma City.

During debate, Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, said Republicans had tried to open negotiations even as the bill was being presented.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I promise you we will have another shot at this,” said Rep. Scott Inman, D-Del City. “If we don’t, the (Republicans) will be to blame, because the people in charge of this building can run any bill they want any time they want.”

“Today’s vote was not the last vote,” said Senate Minority Leader John Sparks, D-Norman.

“Today’s vote was the result of an artificial deadline. There is still more than enough time to come to a workable solution.”


See how state lawmakers voted on House Bill 1033xx

'It’s disappointing something couldn’t be done': Teacher pay draws thousands to Capitol, but they leave empty-handed

Photo Gallery: Thousands of Oklahoma teachers gather at the Capitol

Mike Strain and Wayne Greene analyze the stalled vote on revenue bill for teacher pay

Source : http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/key-piece-of-step-up-oklahoma-plan-stalled-on-house/article_7d60354b-f31d-556b-b52f-ab7ae9a44ebf.html

2116
Key Piece Of Step Up Oklahoma Plan Stalled On House Floor

Source:Deadspin

Key Piece Of Step Up Oklahoma Plan Stalled On House Floor

Key Piece Of Step Up Oklahoma Plan Stalled On House Floor

Source:Vox

Key Piece Of Step Up Oklahoma Plan Stalled On House Floor