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Home / US / The Oklahoma Senate hands over a $ 447 million revenue package to fund teacher pay increases

The Oklahoma Senate hands over a $ 447 million revenue package to fund teacher pay increases



OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate, which initially appeared to be a repeat of previous votes on revenue-raising measures, just approved a funding package to pay for public wage increases on Wednesday

The $ 447 million income package, passed by a majority of 36-1

0 votes, is now being submitted to the governor for signature.

The Senate vote demanded two votes that were shy 34, with Senator Anastasia Pittman removing her yes vote, if only temporarily. Three senators were absent, including Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, R-Oklahoma City. When Holt returned to the capital to cast a yes vote and increase the total to 35, he quickly left the floor. Moments later, he walked arm in arm with Pittman as they walked to their desks and gave the crucial voice.

"If I ask a few questions and nobody can give me a clear answer, then I have some reservations," Pittman said when she was asked about her vote after the meeting.

With the passing of HB1010XX, it is the first tax hike approved in the state since 1990 that includes state oil and gas production tax at 5 percent, tax increase of 1.00 on cigarettes, 6 cents on diesel and 3 cents on gasoline. A $ 5.00 tax on hotel and motel stays is also included.

However, plans are in the works to remove the hotel / motel tax from the packaging. Early Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said he would be abolished by legislation that would follow in House Thursday.

A HB1012XX Modified House Floor Modification filed Wednesday afternoon, would remove some of the hotel / motel tax tax package, and the hotel / motel tax is estimated at $ 50.4 million a year, bringing in $ 46.2 million. Dollars ready for the GJ19's budget, which is expected on Thursday.

Pittman says she's worried about the hotel / motel tax on the finance package and the impact it would have on businesses in the state.

" That was $ 50 million that was taken, "she said." And I want to know how we will put it off. "

Officials say the plan is to replace lost occupancy taxes with sales taxes on online purchases .

The Senate also approved caps on broken down deductions and the Teacher Pay Scale

"It's not enough," said Senate minority leader John Sparks, D-Norman, and referred to the Financing needs of the state and addressing teachers support staff and public employees wage increases. "We will pick up tomorrow – some of these (bills) will be changed, we have other sources of revenue out here."

When asked what he would say to the aides and public employees, "Hold fast," he said. "Know that more is coming and we will continue to work in that direction."

"High five!" Governor Mary Fallin said when she went to the podium in the Press section of the Capitol and joined Sen. President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz and Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat

. "I applaud the parties for working on a cross-party basis," Fallin said. "We'll have a signing ceremony tomorrow."

"Incredible historic night," said Schulz, R-Altus. "We have a few more bills left (Thursday) . "

Superintendent Joy Hofmeister has also published this statement on Wednesday evening:

" Thanks to the members of the State Senate, our teachers are desperately much needed and long overdue wage increases that will finally make us regionally competitive and contribute to a crippling Reduce teacher shortage. I am grateful for the strong bipartisan support in favor of Oklahoma's students.

This wage increase puts Oklahoma in second place in the region in terms of average teacher pay. Nationally, we will move from the basement to better than 19 other states. While this legislation is far from all that needs to be done to reverse the years of education funding cuts, this is a tremendous step forward. There is no one more important than the teacher in the classroom, and House Bill 1010-XX will be crucial for keeping and recruiting teachers. This vote is a bright light for public education in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association, along with the Oklahoma Education Association, plans to walk still on Monday calling for salary increases for state employees.

President of the Oklahoma Education Association Alicia Priest publishes the following statement on Facebook Wednesday evening and said "The passing of HB1010xx is a truly historic moment in Oklahoma. This movement, fueled by the valiant deeds of teachers, parents, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, guardians, This historic $ half billion investment will benefit a generation of Oklahoma students and will be felt in every community in the state. Decade of Neglect: The Lawmakers have put finance on the table that could be used immediately to help Oklahoma students. There is still work to do Let this legislature invest more in our classrooms. This work will continue on Monday when the educators come to the Capitol. "


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