Statement: Revenues bill is a good start and lawmakers can do more

Oklahoma Policy Institute released a statement on the House passage of HB 1010xx to fund a teacher raise and other serious public needs:

The revenues approved in HB1010xx are a great start to keeping our best teachers in the classroom and undoing the damage caused by years of budget cuts. With these revenues, Oklahoma will finally be able to provide significant raises for teachers and state workers and reverse some of our deep cuts to general school funding. The bill goes a long way to restoring the gross production tax, which had been hollowed out by unnecessary and unaffordable tax breaks that were holding back our whole state economy to benefit a few powerful special interests.

This plan won large super-majority support because lawmakers know that our state must increase revenues substantially to protect Oklahomans’ prosperity, health, and safety. While this legislation can begin to turn our state around, Oklahoma’s structural deficit was years in the making, and more must be done to put the whole budget back on a sustainable path. Lawmakers have plenty of time left in this session to approve popular and effective reforms like removing the expensive and ineffective capital gains deduction and restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit for working Oklahomans.

Many teachers and regular Oklahomans are skeptical that, after the hard-won passage of HB1010xx, lawmakers will not go back to their old ways of refusing to raise needed revenues and neglecting Oklahoma’s core services. Many are understandably choosing to keep the pressure on lawmakers until more change is evident. Oklahomans are focused on fixing the budget, and our legislators should not ignore their calls to do better.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gene Perry joined OK Policy in January 2011. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism. Gene also serves on the board of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, is a trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and has chaired the communications advisory committee for the State Priorities Partnership, a nationwide network of state fiscal policy think tanks. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Kara Joy McKee, who is a Tulsa City Councilor.

2 thoughts on “Statement: Revenues bill is a good start and lawmakers can do more

  1. It is not fair every time our government mismanages money they raise taxes to fix it. The working people of Oklahoma are tired of paying for our state government’s bad money management. State money go

  2. I have said all along this was not right , yes I wanted money for our schools namely in infrastructure and materials especially k-12 , as our lower schools are way behind and their materials are falling apart and what their being taught is far behind . What I did not expect was that this so called guise, was a hoax, as in the words ( education funding ) call it what it is , nothing more then raises for employees , has nothing to do with education , other then increase in their pay and benefits so who looses here ? our kids . and 33 million was a drop in the bucket as to whats needed . how many districts ? Oklahoma has more than 500 school districts, you say , now how many low level schools within each district ? that adds up to nothing, , what did you say we were buying with this ? 52 cents of every dollar Oklahoma spends on education goes to non-classroom related activities. like that of administration and pay checks . the other 48 cents gos to schools lunches and bus , lights and electric to keep the doors open . so where’s the real funds for education ? their is none . and I think this is a valid complaint , since 51% of this states budget has been ate up in pay checks and theirs something very wrong with that , very wrong . while you hypocrites divert monies to higher education and your foot ball games and stadiums , just remember the next time you cheer in these, a small child and their class room gos without, so monies could be diverted, for you to sit here and cheer , the same for OSU .

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