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Step Up Oklahoma plan fails to garner enough votes to pass House

The Step Up Oklahoma plan failed to garner enough votes to pass through the Oklahoma House Feb. 12. (KOKH/Anthony West)

A revenue measure advocated by a nonpartisan group of business and civic leaders has failed to garner enough votes to pass the Oklahoma House.

HB1033 received a 63/98 vote Monday in the Oklahoma House, failing to get the needed 3/4 majority to pass. Revenue raising measures must pass the 3/4 threshold per Oklahoma law.

The vote was left open until midnight. During voting, Governor Mary Fallin issued a statement via Twitter stating that there "is no bigger, better plan."

"A no vote is a vote against funding a teacher pay raise, a vote against funding our health and human services and protecting our most vulnerable citizens, a vote against putting our state on a stable path forward. A vote against a better Oklahoma." Fallin said in the statement.

The plan, created by Step Up Oklahoma, would have raised an estimated $581 million in revenue by taxing cigarettes, tobacco, fuel, wind and increasing the gross production tax on wells to four percent for the first 36 months.

A second bill would give Oklahoma teachers a $5,000 raise. That bill was dependent on revenue raised in HB1033.

Hundreds of Oklahoma teachers rallied at the State Capitol in support of the plan Monday. The Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs announced a plan Monday that they say would not bring "heavy taxes" to working families and small businesses.

"“It is unfortunate that some of our legislators, particularly those in our OKCPS delegation, are not supporting the Step Up plan to give our teachers a long-overdue raise," wrote OKCPS Acting Superintendent Rebecca Kaye. "The plan may be imperfect, but it is a much-needed first step to finding a compromise revenue solution for our state, and we must not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. . I personally know districts in Texas that are coming to OKC next month to recruit our teachers, and many educators are quickly making plans to leave this profession that they once loved in order to take care of their families. If we lose this Oklahoma/Texas game, we’ll have more to lose than just football bragging rights. Oklahoma will lose committed teachers who are invested in our kids, and we will only have ourselves to blame as we watch them cross the Red River.”


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