breaking: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: OU Med partners with Mayo Clinic for new clinical trial for sickest COVID-19 patientsdeveloping: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Norman nursing home death count revisedlive: Oklahoma coronavirus confirmed cases: 1,684; 80 dead

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Wind industry invited to join efforts to resolve budget impasse

Related coverage

Step Up Oklahoma: How the organization formed and evolved Step Up Oklahoma: OEA endorses initiative in push for teacher pay hikes Step Up Oklahoma: Edmondson wants gross production tax raised to 7 percent Step Up Oklahoma: Lamb says budget hole should be filled without tax hikes Step Up Oklahoma: Oil groups extend support Step Up Oklahoma: Reforms requested by business, civic leaders Step Up Oklahoma: State business, civic leaders offer revenue, reform package Step Up Oklahoma: Revenue raising measures proposed by business coalition and civic leaders Step Up Oklahoma: Supporters of plan identified Step Up Oklahoma: Lawmakers eyeing budget, revenue fixes with new bills

Representatives of Step Up Oklahoma sent out an email Monday inviting chief executive officers of wind development companies to join their coalition's efforts to resolve the state's budget impasse.

"Members of your organization are invited to meet with leaders of Step Up Oklahoma to discuss our entire proposal and present solutions on how to structure revenues from wind energy," Step Up Oklahoma representatives said in an email to Jeffrey Clark, executive director of The Wind Coalition.

"We're happy to be included," Clark responded Monday. "We certainly think that the group ... has been told a story and a narrative about wind energy in Oklahoma that's not accurate and we certainly hope to dispel the information they've been given and to work with them to find a revenue plan going forward that addresses the state's challenges and is supportive of all industries and job creators in Oklahoma."

Step Up Oklahoma is a coalition of Oklahoma civic and business leaders that announced last week it had come up with a package of proposals to resolve the state's budget impasse, reform state government and provide $5,000 pay raises for Oklahoma teachers and principals.

The proposal calls for raising nearly $800 million in new revenues through a variety of measures.

Those measures include:

• Increasing the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack.

• Increasing the motor fuel tax on gasoline and diesel by 6 cents per gallon.

• Altering personal income tax laws.

• Increasing the initial gross production tax from 2 percent to 4 percent on all new wells and all existing wells currently taxed at the 2 percent level.

• Enacting a wind generation tax.

About $133.5 million of the proposed new revenue would come from increases in the gross production tax, while $15 million would come from the wind industry.

Step Up Oklahoma members said one of their goals was to spread around the tax burden and they didn't think it was unreasonable to ask the wind industry to be responsible for $15 million in new revenue if the oil industry was being asked to come up with $133.5 million. Representatives pointed out in their letter that $15 million was only about "2 percent" of the new revenue being sought from various taxpayers.

Several oil and gas company executives were part of the Step Up Oklahoma coalition that developed the proposals that were refined through negotiations with the governor's office and state legislative leaders.

Wind industry officials have complained about being left out.

Monday's email from Step Up Oklahoma members makes it clear that was never the organization's intent.

"Please know CEOs from the wind development companies with operations in our state are welcome to participate," it states. "Some wind developer executives from companies in The Wind Coalition have already spoken to leaders of the Step Up Oklahoma group. Others have been invited through intermediaries and elected officials."

The email apparently was an attempt to smooth any hard feelings.

Clark sounded less than enthusiastic about supporting a wind generation tax.

"It is concerning that this group would target an Oklahoma power generation source for new taxation that would be above and beyond the taxation that they apply to another facility making the exact same product," Clark said. "For example, a coal power plant using coal imported from Wyoming or gas from North Dakota would not bear the new taxes they've suggested. I think that's very concerning."

Related coverage

Step Up Oklahoma: How the organization formed and evolved Step Up Oklahoma: OEA endorses initiative in push for teacher pay hikes Step Up Oklahoma: Edmondson wants gross production tax raised to 7 percent Step Up Oklahoma: Lamb says budget hole should be filled without tax hikes Step Up Oklahoma: Oil groups extend support Step Up Oklahoma: Reforms requested by business, civic leaders Step Up Oklahoma: State business, civic leaders offer revenue, reform package Step Up Oklahoma: Revenue raising measures proposed by business coalition and civic leaders Step Up Oklahoma: Supporters of plan identified Step Up Oklahoma: Lawmakers eyeing budget, revenue fixes with new bills

Related Photos
<p>Strong harvests in grains, such as the wheat in this Kay County field in May, have held down prices and made next year's planting projections more difficult for farmers. [Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives] </p>

Strong harvests in grains, such as the wheat in this Kay County field in May, have held down prices and made next year's planting projections more difficult for farmers. [Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives] 

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-66adf29c1571ea916a3af52dfa1efd16.jpg" alt="Photo - Strong harvests in grains, such as the wheat in this Kay County field in May, have held down prices and made next year's planting projections more difficult for farmers. [Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives]  " title=" Strong harvests in grains, such as the wheat in this Kay County field in May, have held down prices and made next year's planting projections more difficult for farmers. [Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives]  "><figcaption> Strong harvests in grains, such as the wheat in this Kay County field in May, have held down prices and made next year's planting projections more difficult for farmers. [Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives]  </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-36bc5e256d19c50c27a629c2399617ec.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5593bd3fe31b2fd4dfe27bd66dc25b01.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f3c9776c11882ece6c07d770a9f82241.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, speak at a news conference. Coffee's law firm is due to receive $5.6 million in the Purdue opioid case settlement. [Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman] " title=" David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, speak at a news conference. Coffee's law firm is due to receive $5.6 million in the Purdue opioid case settlement. [Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, speak at a news conference. Coffee's law firm is due to receive $5.6 million in the Purdue opioid case settlement. [Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-65a724435c59d84c0a7261f7ec45bb6b.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-fb9601ddfe246930db76fb8eda192237.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5df48eeae14dda58f763b770278df182.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7ae3dddb7e6617437c8cc889aa914f46.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, right, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, right, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, right, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a478731545154e417033cd6b1d8936b1.jpg" alt="Photo - Phil Albert, president of Pelco Structural, and an OU regent, spoke in favor of the proposed reform and revenue measures at the news conference. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Phil Albert, president of Pelco Structural, and an OU regent, spoke in favor of the proposed reform and revenue measures at the news conference. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Phil Albert, president of Pelco Structural, and an OU regent, spoke in favor of the proposed reform and revenue measures at the news conference. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f1593ba5e3c24add8e7132c01b811fa2.jpg" alt="Photo - Tucker Link is a member of Step Up who spoke at the news conference. Link is founder and chairman of Knightsbridge Investments, and is an OSU/A&amp;M regent. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Tucker Link is a member of Step Up who spoke at the news conference. Link is founder and chairman of Knightsbridge Investments, and is an OSU/A&amp;M regent. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Tucker Link is a member of Step Up who spoke at the news conference. Link is founder and chairman of Knightsbridge Investments, and is an OSU/A&amp;M regent. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-29ab01a263328cfd78e2148afde7cd1d.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, left, and attorney Glenn Coffee, former state senator and Oklahoma Secretary of State, unveil reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ef3404f11417cef99e521f5283fcdff7.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, answers a reporter's question at a news conference in the Oklahoma History Center where he and other business leaders unveiled reform and revenue measures. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, answers a reporter's question at a news conference in the Oklahoma History Center where he and other business leaders unveiled reform and revenue measures. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, answers a reporter's question at a news conference in the Oklahoma History Center where he and other business leaders unveiled reform and revenue measures. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-22cf2ef3e4ca69240f51d545cdf0e960.jpg" alt="Photo - David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>David Rainbolt, an Oklahoma banker, unveils reform and revenue measures at a news conference in the atrium of the Oklahoma History Center. Frustrated by a legislative budget impasse that has stalled state progress, a statewide coalition of Oklahoma business and civic leaders (STEPUPOK) proposed a comprehensive solution Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, that would increase state revenues, fund $5,000 teacher pay raises and alter the structure of state and county government. The proposal calls for raising gross production, motor fuel and cigarette taxes, while eliminating certain individual income tax deductions and loopholes. The business leaders said their willingness to support the proposed revenue hikes is directly tied to lawmakers' willingness to vote for $5,000 teacher pay increases and embrace 10 reforms to the structure of state and county government, many of which also would require the public's approval through votes on constitutional amendments. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure>
Randy Ellis

For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two... Read more ›

Comments