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Agricultural News

NOT SO FAST- Governor Fallin Talks Her Way to 51 Yes Votes and HJR 1092 is Revived

Thu, 22 May 2014 22:41:15 CDT

NOT SO FAST- Governor Fallin Talks Her Way to 51 Yes Votes and HJR 1092 is Revived NOT SO FAST!!! Governor Mary Fallin begged and pleaded with enough GOP House members to get a second vote on her signature piece of legislation, HJR 1092, and on the second time around Thursday evening- put together 51 yes votes to turn defeat to victory for the Governor and send the measure to the Senate.

The House took up the proposed constitutional amendment two days after the anniversary of a massive tornado that struck Moore and killed seven students at an elementary school. Earlier on Thursday- the House rejected HJR 1092 by a 34-61 no vote.

Immediately afterwards- the Governor issued a very combative statement calling those who opposed her measure as being a part of a smear campaign. The Governor said in her statement that "It failed today because of a politically motivated and intentionally misleading smear campaign. Critics of the bill said HJR 1092 would have raised taxes. It does not. It would have allowed local communities to increase their bonding indebtedness only if those communities voted to do so. It is a local control measure that supports decisions made by local communities.

"Some critics implied HJR 1092 was not only a tax increase, but the 'largest tax increase in state history.' That statement is not only false, it is intentionally misleading, mathematically impossible and patently ridiculous."

Apparently, the Governor and her staff started putting pressure on members of the House Thursday afternoon. House members said that Fallin's office had urged members of the majority GOP caucus to change their no votes.

After the first vote, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau thanked members of the House for defeating the measure, pointing to more direct fund raising efforts as ways to get the monies needed for storm shelters for schools. OFB President Tom Buchanan said in their statement ""Farm Bureau fully supports the construction of shelters to protect students and appreciates Rep. Mark McBride and Rep. Jon Echols' efforts to raise private dollars through the Shelter Oklahoma Schools foundation. Our state's agricultural producers are major landowners in their communities and would unfairly bear the brunt of this ad valorem tax increase."

If the Senate approves HJR 1092, that will set the stage for a constitutional amendement to be put on the ballot this November. If approved by a vote of the people, individual school districts would have the ability to ask local voters to approve an increase in ad valorem rates (property taxes) to pay for storm shelters for schools.

After the remarkable vote that provided the Governor with a huge win, her office released the following statement:

"Because of the extraordinary efforts of Rep. Mark McBride and Rep. Jon Echols, who represent communities in Moore and Oklahoma City that were hard-hit by last year's storms, HJR 1092 has been revived and is now heading to the Senate for final passage. These legislators have my thanks and appreciation for their work on this bill and their dedication to making Oklahoma schools safer for children and teachers.

"It is now up to the Senate to act on this bill and ensure the people of Oklahoma have a chance to vote on a plan to help put more storm shelters and safe rooms in our schools."



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