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In The News
Bill Would Let Voters Reduce Threshold for Passing Sales Tax Hikes: Oklahoma voters would decide whether to amend the state constitution to make it easier for the Legislature to raise taxes under a bill that cleared its first hurdle Wednesday. The Senate Rules Committee approved a resolution asking voters to reduce the current threshold for passing a tax increase from a three-fourth’s majority of the Legislature to a three-fifth’s majority. The proposal would only apply to sales taxes [AP News].
Voters could dramatically change state constitution: Oklahoma voters could make several significant changes to the state constitution if the Legislature adopts a spate of ballot measures this legislative session. The Senate introduced four resolutions that would put consequential policies on upcoming ballots. Residents could change one of the laws that the Oklahoma Supreme Court has used to strike down several policy bills, they could make it easier for lawmakers to raise taxes, they could divert money that now goes to a trust fund for health and research programs and they could create a fund that reserves oil and gas tax revenues. Members introduced Senate joint resolutions, which direct the secretary of state to put the issues on the ballot, circumventing the signature process. [Journal Record]
Life After Step Up?: The failure of the Step Up proposal has consequences for both the current FY 2018 budget and next year’s budget. But the prospects for another comprehensive revenue package in the aftermath of its defeat may not be as dire as many think. For all the political drama of recent months, there is now a strong, bipartisan consensus that the state has a structural budget deficit that must be addressed with new recurring revenues [OKPolicy]. Frequently asked questions about Oklahoma’s special sessions [OKPolicy].
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