Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Failed Session? Will The Courts Negate The Taxes?

   A Constitutional Crisis has now arrived. The Legislative leaders did the unthinkable. They blatantly raised taxes several times and in several ways that the constitution strictly forbids.
  Today, the session has adjourned 'sine die' [latin for "with no appointed date for resumption"] .

Tax Week Failures

  When the two chambers failed to legally pass enough revenue increases before last Monday morning, to pacify the state's appetite; The only legal way to succeed in the regular session was to create a balanced budget within the means available.
  Another option was to go into a special session. But the Governor did not activate that option. So the leadership of the House, Senate, and the executive branch; decided to raise more revenue in the last 5 days and without the 75% support of both houses. 
  The voters could pass all the new revenue bills, but that would have to wait until the Nov. 2018 general election.  It appears that several legal challenges are being written in the next few days.  Whoever takes up the cause of protecting the taxpayers of Oklahoma will be the favorite in the 2018 elections, whether the court battle is won or lost.  

Two Supreme Court Scenarios:

1.  If a court battle is joined in the next few weeks, it could be granted a 'stay' of the new revenue hikes via injunction of the high court. If the ruling results in any of the revenue measures being thrown out, the state will have a financial emergency. There will still be money to operate, but only at a scaled back level of operations. there would be an immediate special session, but the Republican leadership will be weakened and perhaps face a 'no confidence' vote from within. The Governor could dictate that the session focus on properly raising revenue, or perhaps rewriting a budget, or a combination of both?
2. If a court battle is not fought, or if the revenue measures stand, there will be a revolt such as never seen in recent Oklahoma history. It would mean that our Constitutional language is disregarded by our justices. A populist uprising could go in any direction from there.

  The consequences of losing this constitutional battle are more dire than any result of any single session of the legislature. It would be a tyranny we may not soon recover from. The voters would 'throw out the rascals' and may give the House back to Democrat hands. It's also plausible that the Libertarian Party would sustain a windfall of electoral advancement.

from Sooner - Editorial

No comments :

Post a Comment