Bond issue unlikely in Oklahoma House, speaker says

The speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives says there's no will for a bond issue this year for any project. He made the comments while announcing legislative priorities for the Republican House.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: January 31, 2013 at 10:19 pm •  Published: February 1, 2013

“That's just one of many,” said Martin, R-Norman. “We certainly will have this dialogue throughout session.”

Lawmakers last year discussed several proposals, some of them complicated and most dependent on eliminating business tax credits or certain exemptions and deductions. None passed.

Martin said his plan would cost the state about $40 million in the 2014 fiscal year, which starts July 1. The full year's cost is estimated about $120 million.

It's projected lawmakers will have about $170 million more to appropriate this year compared with last year. Some GOP legislators attribute some of that growth in revenue to a quarter-percent reduction in the state's personal income tax two years ago.

House Republicans also intend to provide additional money for public schools, especially to pay for earlier changes that were not funded by lawmakers. They include better reading instruction and end-of-high-school exams in public schools.

“We want to look at ways to increase accountably for our schools, our teachers and our administrators so we can focus on providing a quality education for our children,” said Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, chairman of the House Common Education Committee.

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