Osborn is removed after tax hike push

House Speaker Charles McCall named state Rep. Kevin Wallace as chair of the House Appropriations & Budget Committee after removing Rep. Leslie Osborne, R-Mustang.

Osborne drew praise from the liberal news media, including an editorial from Wayne Greene of the liberal Tulsa World, for her efforts to raise taxes in the last legislative session. She authored House Bill 2414, a failed effort to increase taxes, including gasoline and gross production (oil and gas). She criticized Republican lawmakers for “cutting taxes” and failure to increase taxes.

Osborn, R-Mustang, was disappointed in the decision.

“Speaker McCall’s decision to relieve me of my duties as Chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee is his to make,” Osborn said. “I am disheartened by his decision, but I am not deterred in my desire to work for the betterment of our wonderful State. Oklahomans are calling out for leadership, and I intend to answer their call.

“Oklahomans across the state have told me they are utterly disgusted at the divisive way we conduct our business at the State Capitol. It is a sad day when we cannot have an honest conversation about the major financial and budget issues we face as a state. I have always been willing to find solutions through conversations instead of conflict.”

Wallace served as vice chair of the committee during the 2017 legislative session.

“Representative Wallace performed very well last session during the most challenging fiscal revenue situation in recent memory,” said McCall, R-Atoka. “He works well with our entire caucus, and he has the experience, diligence and skillset to serve Oklahoma well in this very important role. I am looking forward to working with him as we continue budget discussions in the coming weeks.”

Wallace is the owner of several small businesses and has served House District 32 since 2014.

“I am very appreciative of the confidence Speaker McCall has in me,” said Rep. Wallace, R-Wellston. “Speaker McCall showed strong leadership last session, and I am looking forward to working with the Speaker as we lead our budget efforts on behalf of Oklahomans during the coming months.”