In the demise of the HB1033 big tax ploy, House leaders have become vengeful and predatory to those who have long held for a more responsible solution. Former Budget Chair, Leslie Osborn has repeatedly voiloated House rules on decorum with there personal disparagements and political threats against not only the other party's caucus, but now she's launched an overt civil war in an effort to throw many of her own party's representatives out of office. It is shameful that no one in the House, not Josh Cockroft (who was at the gavel during Monday's session, nor the Speaker Pro Temp (Harold Wright), nor the Speaker himself, who proceeded Osborn in the floor debate; said a word in chastisement of this unbecoming rudeness, defamation, and series of threats.
But let's leave that matter as another reason to question Speaker McCall's fitness to lead the chamber's work.
Let's move on to talk about the many good ideas that the members of the House have long pushed for but have gotten blocked from advancing to a real floor vote.
There are hundreds of special funds in the state government which are for specific uses. Some of them are protected by constitutional language. They total several billions (yes, billions, with a 'b').
Any House or Senate leader who dismisses the idea of reapplying constitutional trust funds, is thinking small. Yet there is a defeatist attitude prevailing in that seat of govt. on Lincoln Blvd.
A Simple Plan To Empower the Voters
- Give the $300+million to classroom teacher pay.
- Pass a resolution to let the voters amend the constitution, so that the nearly $4 billion in TSET & SLT can be better assigned to the needs of the state.
- Pass a ballot resolution to allow statewide Revenue-Raising elections to be called at anytime, by the governor (with a 90-day notice). This dismisses the excuse that "we can't wait another 20 months for this tax question to be voted on by the people".
- Ask the voters to approve a 1-time dip into the TSET and/or SLT for funding the massive backlog in External Performance Audits of the 8 biggest agencies. which must be done before agencies get any needed funding increases. When that's done, don't ever let that oversight function lapse, again.
This will allow a simple 50%+1 of the people to fix the 2019 fiscal budget. Teachers will begin getting proper compensation next August. Mental Health care will be funded so that county jails quit being the dumping grounds for psychotic Oklahomans. Prison funding relief will gradually accrue. All of this will happen without suppressing our economy by more repressive taxation.
Ask the voters to approve a 1-time dip into the TSET and/or SLT for the massive backlog in External Performance Audits of the 8 biggest agencies. which must be done before agencies get any needed funding increases.
Republican leaders MUST change the political landscape before the end of June, or they face an uphill battle going into the November general election.
In November, the Democrats will have a measure on the ballot for raising Gross Production Taxes (GPT) on petroleum to a full 7%. given the current voter frustration, that state question will pass. Not because the voters are hostile toward the oil industry, but because the needs of the people are so desperate for proper funding.
I just presented 4 simple bills which the Speaker could write & bring to the floor next week. There are a vast number of other excellent ideas from both Democrat and Republican back-benchers. If the leadership won't start connecting with the back row of the chambers, the back row may rise up to reconsider who owns the gavel. Osborn declared war on 47 House members. McCall let her words stand. Those 47 could quickly become 57 or 67. But when it reaches 50, the Speaker is in the minority.