House Speaker Pro Tempore Harold Wright should change his political party.
Wright, a registered Republican, is a fiscal progressive. He wants to expand state government by raising taxes – even though the state is on the verge of an economic boom.
Wright has authored a bill to amend Section 33 of Article V of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma. According to his House Joint Resolution 1032, Wright wants to change the state’s constitutional requirement for the number of votes needed in the Legislature to raise taxes.
As the law now stands, according to State Question 640 (passed in March of 1992), tax increase legislation requires a three-fourths vote of both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Senate.
Wright’s legislation would lower the threshold from 75 percent to 60 percent for passage of higher taxes. “This has been the most difficult legislative year since I was elected,” Wright said. “Partly because of two special extraordinary sessions but also because it has been impossible to pass necessary revenue measures to provide for adequate core services in Oklahoma: roads and bridges, public safety, education, public health and corrections.”
Translation: Let’s make it easier to raise taxes. In other words, “feed the beast.”
Here is a core problem with state government – Republicans don’t govern like Republicans. They run as “fiscal conservatives” and then they jump to raise taxes on hard-working Oklahomans.
The only legal barrier is the 75-percent threshold. And now Wright – along with lame duck Gov. Mary Fallin – wants to amend the state constitution to raise taxes.
Wright may not be a Democrat, but when it comes to fiscal matters, he needs to be someplace other than the Grand Old Party.