Scott Inman

State seal in Capitol rotunda
Serge Melki / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Senate leaders say they're still discussing changes to state tax credits and exemptions, despite the fact that legislation with most of those changes still hasn't been heard on the chamber's floor. Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, told reporters this week lawmakers are continuing to work through their caucuses to make sure the members have the details about legislation dealing with tax credits and off-the-top spending.


The Oklahoma state budget is facing a crisis. Legislators face a $1.3 billion shortfall in the upcoming fiscal year that will result in cuts to agencies. At the same time, several state leaders have floated proposals to fund a pay raise for Oklahoma teachers.

Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, says there's “virtually no chance” Oklahoma teachers will see a pay raise this legislative session.

On Monday, Governor Mary Fallin proposed a $3,000 raise for teachers when she unveiled her executive budget during her State of the State address.

Oklahoma Watch Executive Editor David Fritze, House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) and House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) during an Oct. 20, 2015 panel discussion in Oklahoma City.
Patrick Roberts / KGOU

House Speaker Jeff Hickman says he expects next year's state budget gap to be even higher than the $611 million shortfall lawmakers faced when crafting the spending plan for fiscal year 2016.

The Republican from Fairview expects it could be as high as $700-800 million.

Oklahoma House Democratic Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City), flanked by state Reps. Ed Cannaday and Donnie Condit, during Monday's press conference marking 25 years since the passage of HB 1017.
HouseDems OK / YouTube

Oklahoma House Democrats have re-elected Rep. Scott Inman of Del City to serve a fourth term as minority leader.

Inman was re-elected to the post Monday without opposition during a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus.

Democrats also picked Reps. Steve Kouplen of Beggs to serve as caucus chairman and David Perryman of Chickasha as caucus vice chairman.

Each will serve a two-year term beginning in 2016, if they are re-elected next year to their legislative districts.

Oklahoma House Democratic Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City), flanked by state Reps. Ed Cannaday and Donnie Condit, during Monday's press conference marking 25 years since the passage of HB 1017.
HouseDems OK / YouTube

Members of the House Democratic Caucus and several longtime Oklahoma teachers and administrators marked the silver anniversary of a landmark overhaul of the state's education system Wednesday, and called for further changes.

Gov. Henry Bellmon signed House Bill 1017 on April 25, 1990. It used a $560 million tax increase over five years to reduce class sizes, boost minimum teacher salaries, and fund statewide curriculum standards, testing, and early childhood programs.

State Representative Scott Inman
Oklahoma State Legislature

Rep. Scott Inman (D-Oklahoma City) said members of the House Democratic Caucus he leads hope to make their core beliefs easy to understand and relevant to Oklahomans during the 55th Legislature. 

Speaking to a group of reporters Thursday, Inman referred to the approach as applying a "new yardstick" to policy issues before lawmakers, the same language he used Wednesday at the State Chamber of Oklahoma's Public Affairs Forum.

StickWare / Flickr

Only 40.7 percent of Oklahoma's registered voters filled out a ballot during Tuesday's gubernatorial election Tuesday, according to preliminary results. That makes it the lowest turnout going as far back as 2002.

State data shows 51.5 percent of registered voters participated in the 2002 election. In 2006, 56.1 percent of voters turned out while 50.7 percent of voters participated in 2010.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

A state board headed by Gov. Mary Fallin will decide how to handle a $7.9 million hiccup in the state budget that was approved by lawmakers for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The Oklahoma Board of Equalization will meet at 1 p.m. Thursday to discuss a recent opinion by Attorney General Scott Pruitt that says the Legislature's decision to divert about $7.9 million from a college scholarship program was unconstitutional. The diverted revenue was part of a $7.1 billion general appropriations bill that funds most state government functions for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) speaking to reporters April 17, 2014.
Oklahoma House Democrats / YouTube

The Oklahoma House's top Democrat says critical state education and transportation needs coupled with declining tax revenue means the timing is not right to pass an income tax cut this year.

House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) made the comments shortly after the House adjourned Thursday. Proposals to reduce the state's 5.25 percent top income tax rate by a quarter of a percentage point once revenues improve are expected to be considered by the Legislature next week.

Okahoma's House Democrats hold a press conference on education and Gov. Mary Fallin's budget - March 2013
Oklahoma House Democrats / Facebook

House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) called last week "interesting” with candidate filing and legislation passing House Appropriations and Budget Committee to fund the Native American Cultural Center and Museum.

Stating the House Democrats are “encouraged and excited” for the future, Inman said currently 23 of the 29 members of the caucus have filed for re-election.

Support For Common Core Waning At State Capitol

Mar 28, 2014
knittymarie / Flickr Creative Commons

Strong backers of the education standards originally created by the National Governors Association, including its current chair, Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.), are distancing themselves from the reform.

House Minority Leader Scott Inman blames Fallin for failing to lead on the issue.

Gov. Mary Fallin addresses reporters during an Associated Press Legislative Forum at the State Capitol - January 29, 2013.
Governor Mary Fallin / Facebook

Gov. Mary Fallin says Oklahoma voters should weigh in on what to do about school safety.

Fallin on Wednesday suggested that schools be given one-time authority to increase their bond limits so they can build tornado shelters or make other safety improvements on campus. She said she was heartbroken by the loss of life at a Moore elementary school last May.

Oil And Gas Tax Breaks Leaving Millions On The Table In Oklahoma

Jan 27, 2014
Kool Cats Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

It's not looking good for Oklahoma's budget.

State leaders expect a $170 million shortfall. This year's budget was just half a percent larger than five years ago, without adjusting for inflation. And projections estimate a deficit of up to $2 billion by 2035.

Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

The federal government will let the state continue to operate its Insure Oklahoma program while it considers expanding Medicaid and taking a greater amount of federal money to insure the poor.

Gov. Mary Fallin announced Friday morning that the waiver for Insure Oklahoma would be for one year.