Oklahoma House passes sales tax bill to fund education - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Oklahoma House passes sales tax bill to fund education

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The Oklahoma House voted to pass a $20 million internet sales tax measure. ( The Oklahoma House voted to pass a $20 million internet sales tax measure. (

Oklahoma lawmakers will convene rare Friday sessions as protesting school teachers continue to fill the state Capitol and demand more funding for public education.

Republican leaders of the state House and Senate said Thursday they will meet Friday to consider legislation to raise more money. Lawmakers traditionally don't meet on Fridays during legislative sessions.

Oklahoma teachers are in the fourth day of a walkout over low pay and classroom spending.

The Oklahoma House voted 92-7 Wednesday night to pass an Internet sales tax bill aimed at providing additional funding for education.

House Bill 1019-XX would require Amazon and other online retailers to charge tax on sales from third-party vendors. The new regulation is estimated to bring in about $20 million for fiscal year 2019.

"This bill is the next step in continuing to fund education in the State of Oklahoma," said state Rep. Jon Echols (R-District 90). "It is the next step in proving that we are moving forward with commitments that we have made."

But Rep. Scott Inman (D-District 94) directly addressed educators who filled the gallery saying this bill falls far short of what is required.

"If you think if the reason you're here is just to pass a $20 million Amazon tax and go home, then next year you still have 150 million fewer dollars with no new money to hire a teacher," he said. "Those of you who get a $6,000 pay raise will do so, still have 40 kids in your classroom because there's no money to reduce class sizes."

Inman encouraged teachers to continue their "once-in-a-lifetime" fight for education funding.

The Oklahoma Senate was expected to consider the sales tax bill on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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