Oklahoma politics have been utterly dominated by the ultra-controversial topics of abortion and forced child vasectomy recently, it's understandable most people missed the announcement that Oklahoma is planning its own stimulus payment to counteract Washington's rampant inflation. Of course, it doesn't help that any bill can become any other at will if legislators file the correct paperwork... let me explain.

While I, like most Americans fail to understand the unique and contentious complexities that makeup creating, arguing, amending, and adopting a new piece of legislation... This is the story of how Oklahoma's proposed ending of the grocery tax randomly became an individual stimulus payment.

The story starts back in January when Oklahoma's Speaker of the House Charles McCall wrote and introduced House Bill 3349 - AKA - The Oklahoma Revenue and Taxation Reform Act.

An Act relating to revenue and taxation; creating the
Oklahoma Revenue and Taxation Reform Act; providing
for noncodification; and providing an effective date.

The long and short of it being our legislatures decided it was time to end the sales tax on the food we buy in grocery stores. On the face of it, it was likely a solid political move, but the monster it became grew so large they just scrapped it.

The "grocery tax" bill passed committees, passed a vote in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives and did the same in the Oklahoma State Senate but through the various arguing and bickering that naturally comes from politics, everyone wanted to cross different I's and T's along the way.

Ending grocery sales tax in Oklahoma became "What constitutes groceries?"
"Is beer considered food?"
"What about weed edibles?"
"What about candy?"
"Are dietary supplements food?"
"What about deli items?"
"Is water a grocery?"
"What about soft drinks?"

The list of argued and amended topics became so much of an imposition for our lawmakers that they scrapped the entire bill that would end Oklahomas grocery sales tax and instead decided to just give everyone a stimulus payment to make up for it.

What does that mean for you and every other Oklahoman? Well, it means you're in for some more "free" money if Governor Stitt approves and signs this as part of the state budget.

"So how much is it?" says pretty much anyone reading at this point... $75 for each individual, $150 for every married couple, to be paid in December 2022.

If you're confused you're not alone. It's a curious thing how one bill can just up and become something completely different, but that's how the system works. I'll break it down for you.

According to my political science bro, there is a limited number of slots available for creating new legislation. When a political session begins our politicians scramble to introduce anything to snag one of those limited slots.

When I say our legislators will scramble to claim dibs on a slot for a bill, I mean they will literally make up anything to grab their place in line. That's how we end up with hilarious and comical things like the Bigfoot Hunting License Bill the media sensationalized earlier this year. Our politicians often don't even know what they're going to legislate, but when it comes time to get reelected it pays dividends to be able to say "I wrote (this bill) and fought and argued for you over it..." whether it was successful or not.

So how does one bill randomly become another? Well, at any point in time, if everyone agrees a substitute bill can be introduced at will to replace any other and will do so with enough votes. While it remains around the underbelly of open politics, it remains a great way to hide stuff from the voters.

This is still awaiting approval via Governor Stitt's signature as part of the budget when originally published.

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