In The Know: Big revenue bill goes down in the Oklahoma House

In The KnowIn The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.

Today In The News

Big revenue bill goes down in the Oklahoma House: Despite bipartisan support from the Oklahoma Senate, endorsements from two former Democratic governors, backing from Gov. Mary Fallin and pleas from dozens of advocacy organizations, the Oklahoma House of Representatives failed to pass a grand revenue bill this afternoon. Members voted 71-27 for HB 1054X, but that fell short of the 76 votes necessary for revenue-raising measures under the Oklahoma Constitution [NonDoc]. In the end, the backing of more than 45 health-care, education and public-policy advocacy groups – along with the support of a bipartisan group of current and former state leaders – wasn’t enough Wednesday [Oklahoma Watch]. Lawmakers should respect wishes of the majority and pass revenue deal [OK Policy]. Frequently asked questions about Oklahoma’s special session [OK Policy].

Tulsa Elderly, Disabled Fear Losing Vital Assistance With DHS Cuts: In the wake of the Oklahoma budget failing, many programs will be eliminated if lawmakers can’t find funding sources to fill the gap. Thousands of people who are part of the Department of Human Services’ ADvantage program are getting nervous as we get closer to Dec. 1. The program helps connect seniors and people with disabilities with services so they can maintain their independence [NewsOn6].

Cutting Mental Health budgets will increase jail costs: As budgets and services are cut, law enforcement agencies find themselves taking on additional roles in order to meet the needs of the communities we serve. Due to an already dire shortage of mental health services, the Tulsa County jail is now the largest mental health facility in the state of Oklahoma. The mental health services provided to our inmates are not meant for long-term treatment [Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado / Tulsa World].

Fenced in: Cuts to other agencies could hurt Juvenile Affairs: The Office of Juvenile Affairs isn’t just worried about its own budget cuts; it’s also worried about absorbing cuts to other agencies. If the Legislature doesn’t adopt the revenue package that passed out of each chamber’s committees on Tuesday afternoon, lawmakers will likely resort to a plan called cash and cuts. It would take all of the cash reserves available to the state, including Rainy Day Fund money and carryover from the fiscal year that ended in June [Journal Record].

Latino focused mental health providers could lose a dozen therapists: Oklahoma’s unbalanced budget has mental health advocate bracing themselves for the deepest cuts they’ve ever faced. The Latino Community Development Agency serves as a lifeline to Latinos in many different ways, and one of those is mental health services to offer help to Spanish speakers in need. No funding puts these Oklahoma Latinos at risk [FOX25].

Teacher retention is low at many Oklahoma City district schools: Oklahoma City Public Schools retained fewer teachers at schools with first- or second-year principals than sites with more experienced leadership, data provided by the district shows. Overall, the district retained 72 percent of certified staff, including classroom teachers, according to data collected between May 31 and Aug. 1 [NewsOK].

Prosperity Policy: Out of bread: As we all wait to see what emerges as the outcome of special session, I humbly offer this little parable. It was inspired by legislation offered last week to provide teachers a $1,000 raise, which followed a bill the week before for a $3,000 teacher pay raise. A customer walks into a restaurant [David Blatt / Journal Record].

Continental delivers, triples production in five years: Harold Hamm accomplished the goal he set back in 2012 to triple oil production within five years. The CEO and chairman of Continental Resources Inc. said Wednesday he achieved the milestone, spent $10 billion less than he planned, and drilled half as many wells. “Despite oil prices and the inherent challenges with that, we’ve done it,” he said [Journal Record].

Brian Bingman announces run for Oklahoma Corporation Commission: The former leader of the Oklahoma Senate is running for a seat on the Corporation Commission. Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, said Tuesday the commission could use some new blood in handling the broad swath of Oklahoma’s economy that it regulates. The Corporation Commission has oversight of several industrial, transport and utility industries [NewsOK].

Students at St. Gregory’s University told the Catholic liberal arts college is closing: St. Gregory’s University students were called to an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon and told the school will close at the end of the fall semester. “With great sadness, the Board of Directors of St. Gregory’s University voted today to suspend operations effective at the close of the fall semester 2017,” the Rev. Don Wolf, board chairman, said in a statement posted Wednesday on the university’s website [NewsOK].

Citizen advisory groups named for Tulsa community policing initiative: City officials took another step toward fully implementing the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing’s 77 recommendations Wednesday with the announcement of a Citizen Advisory Board and three Citizen Action Groups. The community policing initiative was created by Mayor G.T. Bynum to help improve relations between the Tulsa Police Department and the community and to provide a vehicle for community engagement [Tulsa World].

OKC is getting healthier but still has work to do, mayor says: Oklahoma City is healthier than it was a decade ago, outgoing Mayor Mick Cornett says, but a community-wide conversation about obesity needs to continue. Cornett, who is running for governor as a Republican in a crowded field, spoke at the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health on Wednesday afternoon as part of a series of lectures on health topics [NewsOK].

Mark Zuckerberg visits wind farm in Duncan to discuss renewable energy: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited at a wind farm in Duncan, as part of a tour around every state in the U.S. In a Facebook post Wednesday, Zuckerberg described his experience at the wind farm and compared Oklahoma’s oil industry to these renewable energy practices. He focused on job sustainability and the potential for higher pay for workers in renewable energy fields [KOCO].

NASA nominee faces partisan floor fight after close vote by Senate panel: A key Senate panel approved the nomination of Congressman Jim Bridenstine as NASA’s next administrator but the party-line vote on President Trump’s nominee portends potential trouble for the Oklahoma Republican when the full Senate takes up his confirmation later this year. The vote was 14-13 in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee with Republicans supporting Bridenstine and Democrats opposing him [USA Today].

Gathering of tribal freedmen to call attention to ongoing discrimination: An upcoming celebration of a recent federal ruling that secured citizenship for Cherokee Nation freedmen also has a second objective: to highlight discrimination faced by freedmen of other tribes. The Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Tribes will host a gathering for its members and supporters from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, 321 N. Detroit Ave [Tulsa World].

Quote of the Day

“All this talk about gross production tax is just that — it’s gross. It’s gross. This bill is far from perfect, but you know what? I don’t think the people expect perfect. They want solutions, and they want them in a bipartisan manner.”

– Rep. Marcus McEntire (R-Duncan), debating in favor of the revenue bill HB 1054X. The bill ultimately failed to reach the 76 votes needed to pass (Source)

Number of the Day


Share of all of the jobs in Oklahoma that are in state or local government, September 2017

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

For the Cost of Repealing the Estate Tax, Congress Could Buy Everyone in America a Pony: You know how you’ve always wanted a pony? How as a child you dreamed of feeding carrots and sugar cubes out of the palm of your hand to a little chestnut-colored horse named Maple? It may sound fanciful to adults, but President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress put together a wish list of tax cuts for the wealthy that are far more extravagant than ponies. It turns out for the cost of just one of these tax cuts—repealing the tax on wealthy estates—we could literally buy every single American a pony. A lovely little Shetland pony, specifically. For all 325 million of us [Talk Poverty].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

One thought on “In The Know: Big revenue bill goes down in the Oklahoma House

  1. Is there now no hope for our Oklahoma residents so dependent on this bill?
    Mary Fallin, why didn’t you accept the Medicaid Expansion $$$?
    Maybe the reversal of that decision would have easily funded our state’s shortfall of budget monies.
    What price predjuice, partisanship, and power?

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