More funding is headed to Oklahoma education after the Senate passed House Bill 1019XX, also known as the Amazon tax. That bill overwhelmingly passed the House Wednesday. Friday it passed the Senate with a 42-2 vote.
The bill would require third-party vendors that use Amazon Marketplace to collect a sales tax.
Lawmakers say $20 million from that tax would go toward education every year.
The Oklahoma Senate has also passed the "Ball & Dice" bill, which would change the rules for casinos and increase funding for public education. The emergency clause failed, however, so the bill will not immediately go into effect.
The bills will now go to the governor’s desk.
The $40 million those bills add to funding are still offset, however, after lawmakers eliminated the $50 million hotel tax they created a week ago.
Still, when word made it out of the chamber and into the Capitol that the bills had passed, a “thank you” chant began, but, the Oklahoma Education Association said the school shutdown isn't over yet.
"If the governor and speaker want to end this walkout, they must call for a vote and pass the capital gains tax," said OEA President Alicia Priest.
Teachers took to the lawn Friday morning to spell “capital gains” to let lawmakers know that remains their focus.
They say closing a loophole in capital gains could generate over $100 million for education, but that currently isn’t being considered by lawmakers. The Teachers Union said that is what it will take to end the walkout.
"You know, the Legislature doesn't like being told what to do, ans so we presented them, gave them opportunities, and now it's time for them to act on something so we can get on with going back to school, if that's what it takes, or knowing we're going to be here longer," Priest said.
House Democrats promised to try again on the capital gains tax, which could end the walkout, but Senate leaders said they're done with the education budget.
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.