OK GOP Commends Legislators on “NO” Vote to Raise Taxes

Rep BeliefsSaturday, November 11, 2018, the Oklahoma Republican State Committee meeting was held in Oklahoma City. The State GOP Committee is the governing body of the Republican Party in Oklahoma. In a bold move, participants in the Oklahoma Republican State Committee meeting overwhelmingly passed a Resolution in the support of the 22 courageous state representatives that voted “NO” on raising taxes, demanding accountability through performance audits so we can find waste, fraud and abuse.
I was a participant. I carried the proxies of my state representatives (State Senator Nathan Dahm and State Representative Mike Ritze), which allowed me to participate in the committee meeting. At the end of the meeting I presented a Resolution for consideration, commending the 22 state representatives that held strong and voted “NO” on HB1054, the largest tax increase in Oklahoma history.
 After much discussion and compromise the Resolution passed overwhelmingly in favor of recognizing and commending the 22 who chose to stand for party principles of lower taxes, transparency and accountability, holding fast against fierce pressure to raise taxes. Thank goodness for this budget debacle or we would be none the wiser, still funding the shell games of many of these agencies.
I am proud of the members of the State GOP Committee for choosing to stand up for our platform as we work to strengthen party relevance through support and accountability of our party platform.

Press Release:

REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE PASSES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING LEGISLATORS WHO VOTED AGAINST THE LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN STATE HISTORY.
11/15/2017 — On Saturday, November 11th, the State Committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party passed a Resolution commending the fortitude of the 22 Republican House of Representatives members who stood first for the people of Oklahoma and in accordance with our Party Platform in voting against excessive taxation.
As detailed in the Rules of the Oklahoma Republican Party, “The State Committee is the supreme Republican Party authority of the State Republican Party...It is charged with the duty of promoting the welfare and direction, controlling the affairs of the Oklahoma Republican Party…”
Increasing concerns have been voiced that tax increases were sought as a first resort to fill budget gaps, without following the Republican Party’s clear platform guidelines to audit agencies’ performance and financial conditions.. With several news headlines detailing mismanagement and monies unaccounted for in state agencies, and agencies requesting more and more monies without fully accounting their expenses, it is apparent that government practices need immediate scrutiny.
The vast majority of media coverage highlighted the narrative of those who prefer to tax and spend versus representing the people by safeguarding their tax dollars for use only in legitimate government functions with maximum efficiencies. This Resolution thanked those that stood committed to transparency and to the principles that they were elected to follow. The governing body of the State Committee supported their efforts to  be the voice of the citizens of Oklahoma.
Quorum was achieved, and remained compliant throughout the meeting by Rule 19(b) Rules of the Republican Party. Upon the vote, the Resolution passed handily.
While the 22 Republican House members who voted were specifically highlighted in the Resolution, it should be noted that State Rep. John Bennett was also a firm advocate of defending Oklahoma taxpayers, but missed the vote due to a family emergency.
Five State Senators also voted previously in their Chamber against the tax increase. Those State Senators are: Josh Brecheen, Nathan Dahm, Julie Daniels, Dan Newberry, and Anthony Sykes. They should also be commended as having done the right thing in spite of extensive pressure to raise taxes.

Resolution:

Resolution Commending the Republican Minority Vote on HB 1054X
WHEREAS, Filling the Budget shortfalls without first auditing agencies’ performance and financial conditions covers up mismanagement and/or corruption, and avoids making the hard decisions on cutting inefficiencies that lead to cost savings;
WHEREAS, The prime example is the recently uncovered mismanagement and/or fraud at the Department of Health which would likely not have become known if this tax plan had already passed the House earlier in session;
WHEREAS, The Oklahoma Legislature should not increase tax burdens on Oklahomans while this lack of transparency in spending continues to exist in an undetermined number of the over 120 state agencies; and
WHEREAS, The Republican Party Platform is very clear that, “Revenues collected at all levels of government should be used only for well-defined, legitimate government functions, and should be carried out efficiently so that tax rates may be kept as low as possible”; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, The Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee hereby commends the fortitude of the 22 Republican Representatives: Kevin Calvey, Bobby Cleveland, Jeff Coody, Dale Derby, Tim Downing, Travis Dunlap, John Enns, George Faught, Tom Gann, Tommy Hardin, Mark McBride, Scott McEachin, Lewis Moore, Jason Murphey, Terry O’Donnell, Mike Ritze, Sean Roberts, Michael Rogers, Chuck Strohm, Tess Teague, Kevin West, and Rick West, who have put principle over politics, and held the line to not increase taxes again without a complete audit of all agencies; and
RESOLVED, The Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee encourages all legislators to proceed now with the leadership and courage to be accountable first to the people of Oklahoma, knowing that it is our tax dollars they are spending
Filed under: Tulsa 9.12