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Senate passes bills allowing 'ball and dice' games, requiring tax collection on Amazon

Teachers rally April 5 at the Oklahoma Capitol. (KOKH/Burst)

The Oklahoma Senate has passed two bills that would send millions of dollars to education.

The Senate voted 41-2 to pass HB1019xx, which would require sales tax to be collected by third-party sellers on Amazon. The bill is expected to generate $20 million a year and the money is earmarked for education. The bill now heads to the governor's desk.

Before passage of the bill, Senator Josh Brecheen attempted to amend the bill to replace it with one that caps wind cap credits. After a lengthy debate, the amendment failed to pass 8-36. A second amendment from Brecheen to replace the bill with wind tax credits also failed to pass.

The Senate also passed HB3375 with a vote of 29-16. The bill would allow casinos to offer "ball and dice" games and is expected to generate $24 million a year with $21 million of the bill going to education. Lawmakers did not pass an emergency clause for the bill so it will not take effective immediately if signed by Governor Fallin.

The Senate also took up HB 1012XX, which would repeal the $5 hotel and motel tax that was part of the same bill that was recently signed into law and gave teachers an average $6,000 raise. The tax was repealed with a vote of 42-3. It also heads to the Governor's desk.

"In the conversations we've have with her previous, we do feel like they will sign all of the bills," said Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz.

He called this a historic week at the State Capitol.

"The Oklahoma Senate has shown repeatedly its commitment to students and teachers first by passing the largest teacher pay raise in state history and now by approving measures providing millions of dollars in new funding for Oklahoma classrooms,” Schulz said.

Senate Democratic Leader John Sparks said teacher's voices were being heard.

"The Senate passed legislation today that will bring in more funding for education, but there are additional measures the legislature should pass, including a repeal of the capital gains tax deduction, with any necessary amendments. The Senate has already passed a capital gains bill with bipartisan support and the House should vote on it without any further delay," Sparks said.

The Oklahoma Education Association says the walkout will continue until the hotel/motel tax repeal is vetoed and the capital gains exemption is ended.


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