TULSA, Okla. – Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and other Republican lawmakers have called for the elimination of a plan that would tax businesses within the state in order to pay for tornado shelters to be placed in schools to protect children. They say the tax is an unnecessary burden on Oklahoma businesses, and that creating shelters specifically to protect children is an attempt to thwart God’s will.
After seven children died in 2013 from a series of tornados, Democratic State Representative Joe Dorman put forward a plan that would have reinstated a program taxing corporations $1.25 for every $1,000 they invested in the state. The money, expected to total close to $40 million annually, would then have been used to build tornado shelters at Oklahoma schools.
Republican leaders, however, were quick to put a stop to the plan. “Just adding on a new tax burden on Oklahomans is not the answer. If God sends a tornado to demolish a school, I’m sure He has a good reason. It is not our place to ask questions, nor to try and protect those children He has chosen to kill.”
Parent groups pushing for the shelters have tried to collect the 155,000 signatures needed to put the question on the ballot, but have had difficulty getting enough signatures after Republican Attorney General Scott Pruitt forced changes to the wording of the measure.
“I felt it was important for the measure to state that taxing corporations in order to build tornado shelters is not a Biblical-based idea,” said Pruitt. “I was afraid that citizens would think God sanctioned saving those children’s lives. The truth is if God wanted those children to live, then he wouldn’t kill them. I think that’s pretty obvious.”
“I would say just by suggesting we take measures to save the lives of those God has damned is pretty darned presumptuous,” said Governor Fallin. “He has a plan for us all, and you better be damned sure it does not involve raising the corporate tax rate.”