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Oklahoma Education Association Adjusts Demands as Walkout Continues

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The Oklahoma Education Association continues to adjust its calls for elected officials to find more public school funding.

Early Tuesday, OEA still wanted the governor to veto the repeal of a $5 lodging tax and the House to take up the Senate bill to end the capital gains deduction.

By the end of the day, Gov. Mary Fallin signed the lodging tax repeal into law, and Republican leaders emphasized the capital gains bill would not come before the House.

OEA President Alicia Priest said another measure is on their radar.

"We think the House took a good first step in passing a bill to put a cap on wind tax credits," Priest said.

After being amended Monday, Senate Bill 888 now makes zero-emission tax credits used by wind power producers non-refundable after January first, 2019. Another bill would direct savings from that change to education.

Supporters believe SB888 will free up $500 million to $750 million over the next 10 years. OEA is pushing lawmakers to find an additional $50 million in public school funding.

Oklahoma teachers may not be done changing the state after their walkout ends. Seeing success in their push for raises and increased public school funding, Priest is encouraging them to run for office.

"We must harness the energy we’ve seen at the capitol this week and ensure it translates into a legislature that won’t neglect public education over the course of the next decade," Priest said.