Fallin’s special session proposal faces bipartisan criticism

Ponca City Now - July 29, 2016 9:23 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Gov. Mary Fallin's suggestion that lawmakers return for a special session to consider ways to increase teacher salaries is facing bipartisan criticism from legislators and even some teachers who call the idea short-sighted.

Fallin mentioned the possibility of a special session after state finance officials confirmed the state had $140.8 million available after the fiscal year that ended June 30.

House Appropriations and Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Earl Sears said Thursday he thinks the money should be reallocated to the state agencies that were forced to cut their budgets in the middle of the fiscal year amid slumping revenue collections.

Edmond Public Schools Teacher of the Year Kevin McDonald says he thinks the proposal will distract from a state question in November for a one-cent sales tax for education.

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Kevin McDonald, Edmond Memorial High School English teacher, directs the percussion session of the band during a practice in Edmond, Okla., Thursday, July 28, 2016. With just three months remaining before voters head to the polls to consider a one-cent sales tax increase to boost funding for public education, Gov. Mary Fallin has suggested a special session to consider an alternative proposal. McDonald says he thinks the proposal will distract from the state question in November.

 

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