Powell calls Fallin veto latest example of failed leadership

Former Oklahoma Libertarian Party chairman and current gubernatorial candidate Chris Powell issued the following statement in response to Gov. Fallin’s veto of all but a few portions of HB1019, the revised general appropriations bill:

“This latest plot twist in the ongoing budget fiasco exemplifies the ongoing failure of leadership from the Governor’s office. We are in our fifth year of budget shortfalls, but our first year of serious attempts by Gov. Fallin to do something about it. Unfortunately, her desired solutions have largely been regressive new taxation. Despite paying lip service to real spending prioritization by calling for ‘efficiences’ and consolidation, the Governor has not publicly offered specific proposals and among the provisions of HB 1019 that she vetoed were all of the spending reductions passed by the Legislature.

We need to reform our tax structure. Governor Fallin failed to do so for years. When she finally did take action, it was an attempt to tax everything from haircuts to child care to your electric bill. Not addressed by the Governor or the Legislature are hundreds of millions of dollars annually in incentives to various special interests. Now, after calling a special session without having a real plan in place and seeing it fail, the Governor wants to cost the taxpayers even more for another special session without any good reason to think it will be any more productive than the first.

As Governor, in addition to addressing reform of the tax structure, I would seek to eliminate as many incentives for special interests as possible, move to really prioritize spending, and seek to consolidate overlapping and redundant state agencies. And I would not call a special session until after developing a plan to proceed by bringing leadership of both parties from both the House and Senate to the bargaining table all at the same time. Governor Fallin’s failure to provide leadership will almost certainly lead to a second failed special session.”