FAIL: Revenue bill dies; path is unclear
by Dale Denwalt,

The measure thought to be the last chance to fill Oklahoma’s budget shortfall with new, recurring revenue failed Wednesday.

House Bill 1054 did not receive the 76 votes required by the state constitution for a tax hike to advance. Its failure left lawmakers without any clear plans to fill the bulk of a $215 million shortfall that threatens critical social service programs.

The vote came after more than six weeks of a special session that has been racked with indecision.

For about an hour, the vote was stuck at 70-28. Republicans at one point filed off the floor into a back room, and Gov. Mary Fallin spent time talking to representatives who had voted no.

When the Republicans returned to the floor, state Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, switched from a no to a yes. In the end, five Democrats voted against the bill, compared with 22 Republicans.

Read the complete story on