Rep. Osborn urges candidates for her seat to step forward

By Chris Eversole

State Rep. Leslie Osborn, a Republican from Mustang, said Monday she hopes a strong candidate comes forward to fill her seat.

Osborn is not running reelection so that she can seek the position of Oklahoma labor commissioner.

“We need people from the real world to run for office,” she said.

More reasonable candidates need to be elected to avoid this year’s budget gridlock, she said in informal comments to Mustang High School students.

The gridlock resulted in the failure to pass what had seemed to be a promising revenue proposal — increasing the gross production tax on oil and gas drilling from its current 2 percent to 4 percent, Osborn said.

This proposal failed to get out of committee last week.

Osborn noted that both the Republican leadership and Democratic legislators opposed the 4 percent production tax proposal.

While the GOP leadership wanted no increase in the joint production tax, the Democrats felt the proposal didn’t go far enough in restoring the tax, which had been cut in previous years.

Sidelining the 4 percent gross production tax proposal makes it likely that all aspects of state government except education and corrections will be cut, Osborn noted.

“This is killing our state,” she said.

The special legislative session is continuing this week.

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