Oklahoma Senate takes up bills that would fund education

    Oklahoma students joined teachers to rally for more education funding April 4 at the Capitol. (KOKH/Shardaa Gray)

    UPDATE 11:50 a.m.: The Senate has passed HB1019XX, the "Amazon Tax" bill 42-2.

    ORIGINAL: The Oklahoma Senate has convened to take up three bills related to education funding.

    Senators are expected to take up HB1019XX, which would tax third-party spenders on Amazon; HB 3375, which would allow casinos to offer "ball and dice" games; and HB 1012XX, which would repeal the $5 hotel and motel tax that was part of the same bill that was recently signed into law and gave teachers an average $6,000 raise.

    The "Amazon tax" and "ball and dice" bills would bring in an estimated $42 million for education. The hotel and motel tax was expected to bring in an additional $50 million in revenue for education.

    It's not clear if the Oklahoma Education Association would call for an end to the statewide teacher walkout if the votes go the way they'd like. Teachers across the state have been out of school for five days as they push lawmakers to restore funds that have been cut from education over the last several years.

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