Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The empire strikes back

Last week 30 members of the Oklahoma Senate voted to give new hope to children trapped in some of the worst inner-city schools in Oklahoma. Predictably, the state’s largest labor union is none too pleased about this. In a legislative update blasted to its e-mail list yesterday, the OEA declared:

Senate Bill 2093 will provide a tax credit for any taxpayer who donates money to a scholarship program for low-income children to attend private schools. The bill would allow money for the tax credits to be taken from the state’s general revenue fund, reducing the amount of money available for public education, further crippling our under-funded schools. Cherry-picking students to attend private schools while reducing funding for public schools is not the solution. Contact your local representative today to oppose this bill. The bill heads to the house.

Of course, as OCPA has already demonstrated, the measure would actually increase per-pupil expenditures in the public schools. Nevertheless, expect the union to stick to its talking points and to continue to put the pressure on legislators.

Below is the roll call for the amendment by Sen. James Williamson creating the New Hope Scholarship Program. Many thanks to the 30 state senators who voted for the measure (and a special tip of the cap to the six Democrats who had the courage to vote for it).

YEAS: 30

Sen. Tom Adelson (D-Tulsa)
Sen. Cliff Aldridge (R-Midwest City)
Sen. Patrick Anderson (R-Enid)
Sen. Don Barrington (R-Lawton)
Sen. Randy Bass (D-Lawton)
Sen. Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa)
Sen. Cliff Branan (R-Oklahoma City)
Sen. Randy Brogdon (R-Owasso)
Sen. Bill Brown (R-Broken Arrow)
Sen. Harry Coates (R-Seminole)
Sen. Glenn Coffee (R-Oklahoma City)
Sen. Brian Crain (R-Tulsa)
Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre (D-Tulsa)
Sen. John Ford (R-Bartlesville)
Sen. Earl Garrison (D-Muskogee)
Sen. Mike Johnson (R-Kingfisher)
Sen. Clark Jolley (R-Edmond)
Sen. Ron Justice (R-Chickasha)
Sen. Todd Lamb (R-Edmond)
Sen. Owen Laughlin (R-Woodward)
Sen. Mike Mazzei (R-Tulsa)
Sen. David Myers (R-Ponca City)
Sen. Jonathan Nichols (R-Norman)
Sen. Jim Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City)
Sen. Andrew Rice (D-Oklahoma City)
Sen. Nancy Riley (D-Tulsa)
Sen. Mike Schulz (R-Altus)
Sen. Anthony Sykes (R-Moore)
Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson (R-Oklahoma City)
Sen. James Williamson (R-Tulsa)

NAYS: 18

Sen. Roger Ballenger (D-Okmulgee)
Sen. Sean Burrage (D-Claremore)
Sen. Kenneth Corn (D-Poteau)
Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield (D-Ardmore)
Sen. Mary Easley (D-Tulsa)
Sen. Jay Paul Gumm (D-Durant)
Sen. Tom Ivester (D-Elk City)
Sen. Constance Johnson (D-Oklahoma City)
Sen. Charlie Laster (D-Shawnee)
Sen. Debbe Leftwich (D-Oklahoma City)
Sen. Richard Lerblance (D-Hartshorne)
Sen. Mike Morgan (D-Stillwater)
Sen. Susan Paddack (D-Ada)
Sen. Jeff Rabon (D-Hugo)
Sen. John Sparks (D-Norman)
Sen. Joe Sweeden (D-Pawhuska)
Sen. Jim Wilson (D-Tahlequah)
Sen. Charles Wyrick (D-Fairland)

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