The Republicans had 26 new Representatives & 13 Senators serving a freshman term in the 2017 legislative session. That may be the biggest group of new faces since statehood.
Think tanks were full of speculation last November, about what impact the large new group might bring to the process.
Sadly, many conservative groups express great disappointment, if not outright abandonment.
Of the 39 freshmen Republicans, Only 5 Representatives and 3 Senators voted consistent with the constitution, on two of the key revenue bills.
Of all the speculation of last winter, not one publication projected that the final days would be filled with voting on unconstitutional new revenue proposals. Yet that is exactly where these freshmen allowed the leadership to take them.
The Oklahoma Constitution is clear about the protections granted to our taxpayers. When the 1992 amendment (SQ640) was approved by our high court, it stipulated the following:
A. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. The Senate may propose amendments to revenue bills.
B. No revenue bill shall be passed during the five last days of the session.
D. Any revenue bill originating in the House of Representatives may become law without being submitted to a vote of the people of the state if such bill receives the approval of three-fourths (3/4) of the membership of the House of Representatives and three-fourths (3/4) of the membership of the Senate and is submitted to the Governor for appropriate action. Any such revenue bill shall not be subject to the emergency measure provisions authorized in Section 58 of this Article and shall not become effective and be in force until ninety days after it has been approved by the Legislature and acted on by the Governor.
What our freshmen largely demonstrated was a willing complicity in a blatant and grievous violation of our constitution. Their actions sought to undermine the rights of every consumer and taxpayer in the state. Not one of them can plausibly claim ignorance when they voted on a 2nd tobacco tax bill which was defeated a week earlier.
The Most Simple Case Of Constitutional Infringement
Those who opposed the bills are in larger Red ink.
Freshmen Republican Representatives
Freshmen Republican Senators