Fallin, Republican Legislative Leadership Announce Budget Agreement

Governor Fallin and Republican legislative leadership have come to an agreement over the budget on Monday. The announcement was made that Fallin, House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz have come up with a plan to patch the $215 million budget hole and provide for a teacher pay raise.

The plan includes a $1.50 cigarette tax, a six-cent fuel tax increase, a revision of taxes on alcoholic beverages, and a restoration of the Earned Income Tax credit. That will bridge the budget gap, provide for a $3,000 teacher pay increase effective August 1, 2018, and a $1,000 increase to most state employees effective August 1, 2018.

“This agreement is the result of countless hours of discussions and meetings,” said Fallin. “I appreciate President Pro Tem Schulz and Speaker McCall working to provide a long-term solution to our state’s continuing budget shortfalls. It is apparent that rapid changes in our economy have created unsustainable and unpredictable revenue collection patterns. We need to seek long-term sustainability and stability as opposed to unpredictability and volatility. This agreement makes more recurring revenue available, helps us stop balancing our budget with one-time funds, and provides a teacher pay raise as well as a raise for our hard-working state employees, who have not had an across-the-board pay increase in eleven years. And, most importantly, it provides sufficient revenues to meet the basic responsibilities of state government, such as education, health and public safety. We must deliver services that work for the people, and put people over politics.”

House Democrats aren’t on board with the plan. They want to see an increase in the Gross Production Tax (GPT), the tax charged to oil and gas producers as they bring up product from their wells. In its statement to the press, the House Democratic Caucus insists that the oil and gas industry should pay more to help balance the budget.

“Since we unveiled our Restoring Oklahoma Plan last March, the House Democratic Caucus has been clear that we will not support a budget deal that balances the state’s checkbook on the backs of Oklahoma workers while refusing to ask the oil and gas industry to pay their fair share.

It is obvious that this budget is meant to meet one objective, which is to find a way out of this budget shortfall without restoring the gross production tax on oil and gas wells. Instead of asking the oil and gas industry to pay a fair and just tax, Republican lawmakers would rather tax working class Oklahomans.

We believe that offering teachers and state employees a pay raise while simultaneously raising their taxes to pay for the raise is both disingenuous and a terrible way to balance a budget. Our Caucus remains resolved that teachers and state employees deserve to be compensated fairly, but we will not support a plan that puts money in their right pocket just to take it back out of their left.

As Republican lawmakers continue to play political games, Oklahomans are suffering due to cuts that are taking place to Oklahoma’s various health care agencies. The House Democratic Caucus is demanding the Republican Caucus halt this plan, which only seeks to raise taxes on working Oklahomans, and come back to the table to build a budget that works for all Oklahomans,” the House Democratic Caucus statement said.


Fallin and other leaders held a press conference outlining the agreement. You can watch the video provided by the House Media division below.

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  1. jane, 24 October, 2017

    This is further example of a failed legislature run by my party and a failed governor. when are they going to get the message to stop hurting us and we don’t want to give the oil industry more breaks?

    Don’t they realize that the fuel tax will hurt us, and the tax will be passed on to us by companies.

    those in leadership don’t listen to the voters and we have another year to suffer with this bunch.


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