For the 2nd time, The House Speaker was met with defeat. This time it happened in the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget.
A Tobacco tax vote became deadlocked at 11-11. Other votes also took place.
This is breaking and we will have a fuller report, soon.
HB1058 Health Appropriations PASSED
HB1057 Earned Income Credit PASSED
HB1056 State Agency Pay PASSED
HB1055 Teacher Pay PASSED
HB1054 Tobacco Tax FAILED
Two members of the Budget leadership, Wallace & Kannady; consult before deciding not to vote on the deadlocked bill.
Platform Caucus member, Jason Murphey, shows a glimmer of pleasure in the demise of a defeat of the biggest tax package in decades.
The House Joint Committee on Appropriations & Budget (JCAB) today, moved on a special funding package which authorizes the transfer of existing state money to fill a few months of current services for the Dept. of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS).
While not a full fix, it does allow the important operations to continue through the winter, until the 2018 Regular Session can apply a more permanent solution. The funds total about $25 million.
On Tuesday, I visited with several members of the House leadership, urging them to get this transfer on the House Calendar. Eventually I was able to spend a few moments with Majority Floor Leader, Jon Echols.
Jon has been incredibly receptive and accomodating to me told me that the Gov. insisted that her tax package be the only legislation on the House calendar. He was highly doubtful of the package getting a necessary 75% support.
But Echols gave me his assurance that when the Fallin plan fails, that He will work with the Speaker to get the funding bill on the calendar and voted on within the week. Minutes ago he fulfilled that promise.
There are larger issues, and long term problems to fix. But at least the disruption is hopefully avoided. We will continue to advocate for the important role of public health & safety in our state govt. We all believe there are less expensive and more humane solutions than the jail cells that too many of our suffering fellow citizens are being abused in.
Rep. Kevin Calvey (R-OKC) has exposed a massive diversion of state tax dollars to foreign aid. Under the program, French, Pennsylvanian, Japanese, and other long-distance students are getting aid packages from the university, at the expense of the working people of our state.
Our constitution mandated the support of our state-owned universities, so that our own people would have the means of attaining higher education without leaving the state. That model has turned into a corrupted, bloated, and outdated mode of repression. It pillages our state to the tune of 14% of our state budget. It undermines the dozens of private universities in our state whose faculty is forced to subsidize their competition.
On Tuesday I visited with Rep. Calvey at his capitol office. He wanted to be sure that his research got published. I committed to him that I would assist in that effort. KOCO-5 did publish his research. Here's some of their reporting.
Rep Scott Inman (D-Del City) shocked the Oklahoma political circles when he announced his sudden departure from the Governor's race and announced his forthcoming resignation from the House, where he has been serving as the Minority Leader.
For the last eleven years, it has been my honor and privilege to represent the people of my hometown of Del City at the State Capitol. For the last seven years it has been a true pleasure to lead the honorable women and men of the House Democratic Caucus as House Minority Leader. And for the last six months, it has been the dream of a lifetime to travel across this great state to visit with my fellow Oklahomans about the issues important to them in my campaign for Governor.
Those roles and responsibilities, while at times enjoyable and rewarding, did not come without a price. Unfortunately, that price was paid by those nearest and dearest to me. The stresses and strains of my career, the time away from my family, and the choice to wrongly prioritize my life’s decisions have brought me to this moment. I can no longer ask my wife and children to sacrifice for me. It is time for me to re-prioritize what is important in this world.
Therefore, I am announcing today, that I will be immediately ending my campaign for Governor of Oklahoma and will be stepping down from the legislature at the beginning of next year, leaving me time to complete the important work of the special session before us in the legislature.
To those who believed and invested in me over the years, especially during these last six months, I am truly grateful for your support. To the kind-hearted citizens who called, emailed, and messaged me during the campaign to encourage my family and me along the journey, I offer a sincere thank you. To those who volunteered for my campaign, sacrificing their time and talent to aid in our run for Governor, I thank you as well. To the campaign team that helped make my dream a reality, I will never forget your devotion, drive, and passion to make a real change in this state. To the incredibly talented and thoughtful Representatives with whom I have served in the House Democratic Caucus, those who honored me by allowing me to serve as their leader, words cannot express the love and gratitude I have for you. To the citizens of House District 94, my hometown, serving you will always stand as one of the highest honors of my life. And to my family, both immediate and extended, what you have sacrificed for me will leave me forever indebted to you.
This moment is certainly disappointing for me and I am certain it will come as a disappointment to those who believed in my campaign and our vision for Oklahoma’s future. To you, I would offer that my time in the legislature has taught me ideals and goals are much bigger than one person or one campaign. Those things we collectively fought for like better public schools for our children, access to quality health care for all of our citizens, a more fair and just criminal justice system, and a tax structure that fairly balances the burden of funding core services in this state are no less important or no less worthy today.
I implore you to keep up the fight. Always hold those in power accountable for the decisions they make that have sweeping effects on the nearly four million people who call our state home. And never forget that those of us blessed to be called Representative, Senator, or Governor work for you.
The next few days will be challenging for my friends and family. I ask for your understanding, your prayers, and privacy during this time. And I once again thank you for the allowing me to take part in this incredible journey. I have been abundantly blessed. I pray God will bless each of you.
Speculation will now commence, as to why this happened at this time?