Group seeking Oklahoma teacher pay hike abandons effort

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A group planning a signature drive to let voters decide whether to increase the oil and gas production tax to fund a $4,000 pay raise for Oklahoma teachers is abandoning their effort.

The group Restore Oklahoma Now announced on its website Monday that it was withdrawing its initiative petition. Led by several longtime oil and gas industry leaders, the group was established before the Legislature agreed earlier this year to a pay raise for teachers averaging about $6,100.

The raise was funded in part with a hike in the gross production tax on oil and natural gas from 2 percent to 5 percent.

Executive Director Mickey Thompson says they instead plan to use their resources to protect the taxes used to fund the teacher raise from a possible veto referendum.

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