Aside from all the frivolous and nuisance legislation clogging up the legislative docket, there are some really big money matters which are being stalled until the waning days of the session.
Clark Jolley is reporting on a few revenue adjustments which have passed through the Appropriations and Budget Committee.
Members of House and Senate appropriations committees adopted a series of joint budget bills that would increase revenue, including:
- an attempt to capture about $125 million from a cash-flow reserve fund, and
- trim tax credits, including limiting a credit for clean-burning motor fuel equipment.
- stepped-up enforcement of tax collections through more auditing and technology services.
- a proposed cigarette tax that would generate an additional $180 million a year,
- a price-indexed gasoline tax,
- a tax on alcohol, and
- a broad expansion of the state sales tax to some services that would help fund seniority-based teacher pay raises.
"We're looking at a number of different revenue options," said Hickman, R-Fairview. "We'll see where this all ends up."
The 2016 Oklahoma Legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn by May 27.
"We're trying to cure a $1.3 billion shortfall," Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, told members of the Senate Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget.
"We're trying to get through this crisis, this energy crisis," Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow, chairman of the House's majority Republican caucus, told the House Joint Appropriations and Budget Committee.
Jolley, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said; "the legislation would help lawmakers fund government responsibly instead of relying on bonded indebtedness and one-time revenue sources."
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, said; "the bills would address ways to create recurring, stable revenue for public education, health care and public safety in the fiscal year that begins July 1."