Last week, the Senate voted to repeal a $5 a night hotel/motel that was passed with House Bill 1010xx, which provided partial funding for teacher pay raises. The repeal will leave a hole of about $44 million in the funding package. This bill was signed by the Governor this evening.
However, on Friday,
the Senate also passed measures
intended to replace portions of hotel/motel tax. HB 1019xx, the "third-party Amazon tax,” will generate about $19.6 million in revenue, and HB3375, which relates to 'ball and dice' casino games and is expected to bring in $22 million.
Education advocates are also pushing for House passage of SB 1086, which repeals the capital gains exemption. However, House leadership has said it will likely not be heard. Instead, some Senate members and House Floor Leader, John Echols, are advancing various legislative proposals to potentially tax wind energy and/or end wind tax incentives as an alternate way to provide additional revenue for education. Over the weekend,
it was reported
that Rep. Echols would bring this legislation forward this week.
Legislative activity in the coming days will likely remain focused on measures aimed at fully funding the pay raise and generating additional revenue for school operations. OkACTE is focused on ensuring a funding mechanism is put in place for CareerTech pay raises, so that they do not become an unfunded mandate. OkACTE has been told the funding mechanism will be included in the general appropriations bill for CareerTech this session. OkACTE is asking the legislature to appropriate an additional $8.5 million to fund the CareerTech teacher pay raise, and an additional $2.075 million to cover the mandated $1,250 support staff increase.