OK Senate passes budget bill - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

OK Senate passes budget bill

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO)- The Oklahoma Senate passed a budget bill Wednesday night with a vote of 33-13.

Just over $21 million will be added to the Department of Education. That only covers health insurance costs so that budget will stay flat and it does not include a teacher pay raise.

Education leaders are speaking out against the state's budget plan.

El Reno's superintendent says while the current plan has a "flat" budget for education, that doesn't necessarily mean there will be no cuts in school districts. He says in his district, six teaching positions have yet to be filled, and won't be able to be filled as a result of the flat budget.

"That money can't go to the future. The future would have been making our class size at 20 to 18 instead of making a class size at 25," said El Reno Schools Superintendent Craig McVay.

The Oklahoma State School Boards Association says under the budget, schools will face $20-million more in teacher health care cost, meaning hiring teachers would be nearly impossible.

The Department of Corrections and the Department of Transportation also stay flat. The Department of Public Safety, on the other hand, will see an extra $6 million in its budget. Every other agency will face at least 3.5 percent cut.

All six Democratic senators voted against the bill Wednesday night. The bill is expected to go to state House today for a vote, where it is doubtful if any of 26 Democrats in the House will vote for the bill.

Part of the budget includes a $1.50 fee on cigarettes. Backers say not only will the bill help provide revenue for the state, but that it may also reduce the number of people smoking. Opponents say it may be unconstitutional because it was pitched after revenue raising bills were required to be filed last week.

"The constitution is very clear. It says the legislature thou may not raise revenue in the last five days,” said Sen. John Sparks.

The bill provides a large portion of the money in the $6.8 billion spending plan that's headed to the House today.

Critics have also said the bills to raise revenue did not receive a three-fourth's majority vote that is required of tax-raising measures.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved. 

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

    Subtropical Storm Alberto heads to the US Gulf

    Saturday, May 26 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-05-26 09:23:12 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:04 AM EDT2018-05-26 14:04:22 GMT
    A gradual strengthening is expected through the weekend as Alberto moves north. (Source: NOAA/CIRA/RAMMB/CNN)A gradual strengthening is expected through the weekend as Alberto moves north. (Source: NOAA/CIRA/RAMMB/CNN)

    A storm moving slowly through the Caribbean Sea is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, mudslides, and flash floods to parts of Mexico, Cuba, Florida and the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.

    A storm moving slowly through the Caribbean Sea is threatening to bring heavy rainfall, mudslides, and flash floods to parts of Mexico, Cuba, Florida and the eastern U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.

  • Giuliani says White House wants briefing on classified info

    Giuliani says White House wants briefing on classified info

    Saturday, May 26 2018 1:13 AM EDT2018-05-26 05:13:07 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:04 AM EDT2018-05-26 14:04:12 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington.
    President Donald Trump's legal team wants a briefing on the classified materials shared with lawmakers.
    President Donald Trump's legal team wants a briefing on the classified materials shared with lawmakers.
  • Emails show cooperation among EPA, climate-change deniers

    Emails show cooperation among EPA, climate-change deniers

    Friday, May 25 2018 5:03 PM EDT2018-05-25 21:03:01 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:56 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:56:40 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 16, 2018, file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Ca...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this May 16, 2018, file photo, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on budget on Ca...
    Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials collaborating with a think-tank that dismisses warnings of climate change.
    Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials collaborating with a think-tank that dismisses warnings of climate change.
Powered by Frankly