The Oklahoma Legislature will convene for this year's session on Monday, February 3rd, at noon. Which issues, both greater and lesser, will our state's lawmakers be focused on throughout 2014? We explore that multi-faceted question on this edition of StudioTulsa; our guest is David Blatt, executive director of the OK Policy Institute, which is "a non-partisan independent policy think-tank" you can learn more about here.
The second regular session of the 53rd Oklahoma Legislature (2011-2012) was recently adjourned. (The state legislature will convene for its first regular session of the 54th Oklahoma Legislature [2013-2014] on January 8th, 2013.) With the session now over, many citizens are wondering why the legislature DIDN'T adopt a tax-cut plan. Wasn't this the oft-repeated aim of the GOP-controlled House, Senate, and Governor's Mansion?
As tax cut measures move through the state legislature, the head of an Oklahoma think tank calls for lawmakers to adopt ‘Pay as you go’. Director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, David Blatt, says pay as you go, or paygo, requires policymakers to pay for the cost of any tax reduction or service expansion. He says state leaders should not cut taxes this year without first identifying how to pay for them.
Blatt says Paygo was used effectively in the late 1990’s to return the federal budget to a surplus, but has never been implemented at the state level.