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Capitol Report for August 5: A big day this Tuesday – High Court hears tax arguments, Senate District 45 primaries

alex and pat
News9 Alex Cameron (left0 and Patrick B. McGuigan, Photo provided.

On News9’s Capitol Report for August 5, analyst Patrick B. McGuigan said he believes the state Supreme Court will – after arguments on August 8 – strike down some or all of the revenue increases passed in the Legislature. The measures are tax hikes requiring legislative super-majorities, not merely fee boosts, he argued.

Even if the court upholds the revenues, he told reporter Alex Cameron, the Legislature faces tough decisions because they sustained the bad habit of using one-time revenues to pay for recurring expenses. If Republicans want to enact a conservative plan, they have models for balanced budgets that would still allow pay increases for teachers. If they want to increase taxes, they should construct honest super-majorities, McGuigan said. In either case – citing former President Ronald Reagan and former Governor Frank Keating as models – the GOP needs to include Democrats in negotiations over revenues.

Turning to the August 8 primary in Senate District 45, the CapitolBeatOK editor encouraged Democrats to make a positive choice. McGuigan noted that one candidate in the south city-area race pled guilty to domestic abuse in the presence of a child, and that seems disqualifying.

A second Democrat, Steven Vincent, has worked with the police department and would allow voters a positive choice in November. On the Republican side, with seven candidates, McGuigan encouraged primary voters to select a strong nominee from the conservative field. Under special election rules, there will be no runoff – whoever runs first on Tuesday will be the nominee for the November 14 general election. 

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