LtGov Todd Lamb Talks to Farm Bureau Members about the Issues to Watch this Legislative SessionMon, 06 Mar 2017 17:47:31 CST
On Monday, Lt. Governor Todd Lamb spoke briefly to members of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau at the organization’s Leadership Conference in Downtown Oklahoma City, pausing to answer questions after addressing the audience. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays had the chance to speak with the Lt. Governor for a moment after his address. You can listen to Hays’ conversation with Lt. Gov. Lamb, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below, at the bottom of this story.
Lamb touched on several hot-button issues being discussed at the State Capital currently including wind generation and tax breaks like the ag sales tax exemption. Lamb says he believes this exemption is safe, fielding concerns that they could be on the chopping block as legislators review tax codes in an effort to solve the State’s budget deficit. He says he has not heard of anyone contemplating a repeal of the exemption.
A major topic of concern to members of the audience, centered around education. Multiple questions were asked of Lamb, as members tried to get an idea of how much needed funds would be raised to support local schools, either by new funding or through program cuts.
“It’s extremely important, that’s just stating the obvious,” Lamb said underscoring his shared concern about the financial viability of the public school system. “There’s some real challenges in education but nothing we can’t overcome and fix.”
However, he adds that to really solve the issue, there will have to be some “rigorous, healthy debate and discussion with all those involved.” According to him, at the moment there is no piece of paper with a budget outlined. He says the budget is merely a conversation right now and will have to nailed down as that conversation progresses. Lamb quipped, though, that there is no money tree growing at the State Capital, alluding to the constraints of the situation.
As for his vision of the future of agriculture in Oklahoma, Lt. Gov. Lamb said he would love to beat Texas in areas other than football. Perhaps this would be a priority he would run on in a campaign to become Governor, which he tells Hays is a decision he is “heavily leaning towards.”
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