The Woodward News

Local News

April 6, 2013

Oklahoma tax cut opponents see history repeating

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — On Monday, a House subcommittee unceremoniously rejected the Senate proposal, carried by Tulsa Sen. Mike Mazzei. The Senate committee approved the House's bill Thursday — but only after replacing its language wholesale with the Senate's original proposal.

Republican leaders were quick to say they weren't fighting.

"We have open dialogue with the governor and the speaker," Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, told reporters Thursday. "We all understand this is a work in progress. We'll continue to have that dialogue ongoing."

But statements from Bingman, Fallin and Shannon paint a different picture.

"Our vehicle that we had — the Senate bill Sen. Mazzei and the Finance Committee worked on — didn't make it out of a House committee, and that was a vehicle that we'd like to continue that conversation," Bingman said Thursday in his explanation for the Senate's swap of the House proposal. "Sen. Mazzei in the Senate has worked for two years advocating looking at tax credits."

Shannon told reporters he had yet to see what exactly the Senate had done.

"I'm anxious to see the amendments — I think I've been emailed a copy of them," he said.

Fallin released a statement on the apparent infighting six hours after the Senate committee's decision Thursday. In it, she seemed to give GOP leaders a gentle but pointed rebuke.

"I encourage the Senate and House to come together, negotiate, decide on the details of a tax cut plan and send it to my desk," she said in an emailed statement. "I encourage our senators and representatives to be pragmatic in their negotiations and to remember that our ultimate goal is the same: to pass legislation that will help to create jobs and allow Oklahomans to keep more of their hard-earned money."

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