- Fried chicken drumstick in isolated white background
You: Did the teachers get their raise?
Chicken-Fried News: No. There were bills proposed both in the House and Senate. House-approved legislation calling for a $1,000 teacher pay raise died in a Senate committee. The states budget bill includes no appropriations for a teacher pay increase. Maybe next time?
You: Meh. Well, did lawmakers work toward modernizing the states sales tax structure?
CFN: Dont you worry! The great news is you can still get your car washed, get inked with a new tattoo and pick up your dog from the groomers and not pay any sales tax on any of it! But buy a car, new or used, and you will see an extra 1.25 percent sales tax on your bill of sale.
You: Hmm. Well, if I look on the bright side, its not like I can afford a car anyway. Maybe I should just go to debtors jail. I kid! I kid! But seriously, Oklahoma has the highest female incarceration rate in the nation and the second-highest incarceration rate overall did lawmakers work on criminal justice reform?
CFN: Sorta. There was work, like Senate Bill 689, which would allow judges and prosecutors more options in diverting people from prison to treatment. However, that bill and three other criminal justice reform measures fell victim to a House committee chairman (cough Rep. Scott Biggs), who refused to hear the bills in the final days of the session.
You: What about that cigarette tax?
CFN: Yeah! No. So its not a tax, but a fee. It passed on the last day of the session. Expect to pay an extra $1.50 for a pack of cigarettes.
You: So, what about that budget hole? Did lawmakers fix it all? I mean, they spent all those hours at the Capitol and the budget was a huge priority and all that.
CFN: Youre going to need to lie back down.