In this week’s segment of Capitol Report, analyst Patrick B. McGuigan again questioned the governor’s call for a special session, with the regular session just weeks away. Rep. Josh Cockroft, in charge of the special investigation committee in the Oklahoma House, has raised concerns the Gov. Fallin’s veto was improperly applied, potentially impacting many agencies. Other reporters have echoed that possibility.
McGuigan told reporter Alex Cameron of news9, the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City, that investigative journalist Stacy Martin, in a recent story for CapitolBeatOK, shared insights – that if the substantial number of non-classroom employees in state schools were trimmed, a meaningful teacher pay increase could be financed. With the governor’s limited call for a special session to start Monday (December 18), the state Board of Equalization seems likely to release positive tax revenue growth projections at mid-week. Meanwhile, there are no signs that House Speaker Charles McCall agrees with the chief executive’s call for higher taxes.
McGuigan said there are “no signs that peace is breaking out” under the Capitol Dome. In more upbeat analysis, the CapitolBeatOK editor pointed to another month of strong tax revenues for Oklahoma, according to Treasurer Ken Miller’s latest report. The data for November reflected a 12 percent increase in monthly tax receipts over one year ago, but the report did not include numbers for “Black Friday,” McGuigan pointed out. Oil and gas tax revenues alone have jumped 59 percent, McGuigan said.