Just in time for Christmas, Oklahoma economic conditions put a lump of coal in the government revenue stocking. The Board of Equalization (BOE) certified a cumulative $863 million difference (on the negative side) between spending and projected tax revenues.
In this week’s edition of Capitol Report for News9, journalist Patrick B. McGuigan explained a chunk of that was because legislators had used one-time revenues to cover some recurring expenses. Governor Mary Fallin will renew calls to end certain sales tax exemptions, trim less productive economic/business incentives and promote school administrative efficiency.
Reporter Alex Cameron asked about calls of some politicians in Washington, D.C. to establish a special investigation to look at Russian computer hacking and the 2016 presidential election. McGuigan responded he agrees with a Congressional cadre who believe the probe should be conducted through existing House and Senate Intelligence Committees, with staff and panel members who already possess the requisite clearances to handle sensitive materials.
Demands for a special investigation would feed the congressional tendency to duck accountability and score political points, McGuigan said. Besides, Russian hacks are only part of the story – the mainland Chinese have long been a source of cyber-espionage aiming to harm U.S. interests.