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Today In The News
Still No Budget Agreement Days Before Special Session: The governor is ordering the legislature to return to session Monday to fill a roughly $215 million budget shortfall. But as of right now, there’s no plan. The state faces the shortfall after the Supreme Court struck down a last minute tobacco tax passed by republicans after negotiations broke down with democrats. Democrats refused to support the tobacco tax without an increase in the gross production tax; that is, the tax on the production of oil and natural gas. [News9] Lawmakers have good revenue options for special session if they have the will to use them [OK Policy]
Oklahoma Democrats eyeing statewide vote to raise oil, gas tax rate: After repeated calls to raise the tax rate on oil and gas production to 7 percent, Democrats in the Oklahoma House said they might next push for a statewide vote. Raising the tax rate is part of House Democrats’ own budget plan, but despite pressure from both inside and outside the Capitol, Republican leadership has rejected those ideas. [The Oklahoman] How much new revenue will ending oil and gas tax breaks bring in? [OK Policy]
State’s New Education Plan Calls for Big Strides: Reducing schools’ use of emergency certified teachers by 95 percent and boosting high school graduation to 90 percent are some of the goals set by the state Education Department in its plan for education under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The state also proposes attacking hunger in schools and is considering forcing failing schools that are on a four-day school week to change their calendar. [Oklahoma Watch]
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