KGOU

Inman: “No Chance” For Teacher Pay Raise This Session

Feb 7, 2016

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.

Inman told reporters Thursday what teachers should be worried about is seeing their benefits cut.

"There's already proposals floating in both legislatures that would roll back their benefit allowance, or cap their benefit allowance for their health insurance, which over time would actually eat up whatever increase in salary they might get. That should be the big issue,” Inman said.

He also criticized school consolidation proposals, saying they would be a death knell to small towns.

Inman also said he was worried about a bill by state Sen. Greg Treat to eliminate funding for pre-kindergarten programs.

"The few dollars that he may see in savings will be offset by the cost of having young children not receiving the education that they need to make Oklahoma a better place,” Inman said.

The Democrat from Del City also said his House caucus is against the idea of raising taxes on cigarettes if lawmakers aren't willing to reexamine the income tax cut for Oklahoma's top earners. He said it unfairly targets smokers while leaving the wealthiest residents alone.

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