Republican gubernatorial candidate Gary Richardson sent the following press release out this afternoon, in response to a story from the McCarville Report that Governor Mary Fallin is nearing an agreement on a new $972M to $1.06B tax hike plan with the House Democrats in advance of the expected special session.
Tulsa, OK, August 24, 2017 – Gary Richardson today called on the state legislative leaders to oppose every one of the $1 billion in new tax increases proposed by Governor Mary Fallin. “I have said it before and will continue to say it again, we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” said Richardson.
“That’s why I urge Governor Fallin to heed my call to audit every state agency to identify and eliminate any wasteful spending or fraud before sticking a $1 billion tax increase to the people of Oklahoma,” said Richardson.
Richardson continued, “Additionally, I call on all of the legislative leaders to oppose any new tax increases to fill the budget gap, including the President of the Oklahoma Senate, Todd Lamb.”
Richardson then explained how the Oklahoma Lt. Governor is the one constitutionally in charge of the State Senate. “According to Article 5, Section 28 of the State Constitution, the Lt. Governor is the one who presides over the State Senate,” said Richardson. “I call on our Lt. Governor, Todd Lamb, to fulfill his constitutional powers as President of the Senate and block any tax increases from Governor Fallin.”
Richardson then explained how this wouldn’t be the first time a Lt. Governor has presided over the State Senate. “Previous Lt. Governors in Oklahoma have used their constitutional powers to pass or block legislation,” said Richardson. “It’s in the Constitution for a reason.”
Richardson continued, “It’s time our Lt. Governor follows the State Constitution and stop these job-killing, billion dollar tax increases.”