State Senate District 41 candidate Kevin McDonald said he does not support the state legislature’s vote to eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit.
McDonald, 41, said the credit is vital for working families in District 41 to make ends meet.
“I know these families; they live here in Edmond. My wife and I teach their children everyday in class. I know that when money is tight at home, they come to school less able to learn,” he said. “Their parents are forced to make unconscionable decisions between buying groceries, paying the electric bill, and visiting the doctor. We do our best to support those families in every way we can as teachers, but there is only so much we can do.
“That’s why I decided to run for Senate District 41.”
McDonald, 41, is the 2015-16 District Teacher of the Year. A Democrat, McDonald will face the Republican nominee Nov. 8. The Republican field vying to win the June 28 primary election includes Edmond Pastor Paul Blair, 53; Jeff Tallent, 70; and Adam Pugh, 38.
Edmond Libertarian Richard Prawdzienski, 68, is vying for Senate District 41.
“I am running because I have had enough with a legislature that leaves Oklahoma schools and families behind,” McDonald said. “As educators we do our best to shield our students from irresponsible governance; we make few resources stretch as far as we can. But the damage they are doing is beyond repair.”
McDonald said he will bring common sense to the state legislature and tenacity to help get our state back on track from its $1.3-billion budget shortfall.
“Our leaders have a responsibility to serve the common good,” he said. “They are obligated to consider the impact of their actions on all Oklahomans.”
Oklahoma’s leaders at the state Capitol are ignoring their obligation to provide the best possible education for Oklahoma’s children, McDonald said. He said the state’s leadership does not always work in the people’s best interest.
“This is simply unacceptable, and I can’t abide it any longer,” McDonald said.
More than 140 religious leaders and over two dozen nonprofit organizations and foundations had spoken out against the state budget plan against tax credits for hundreds of thousands of working families and seniors, according to the Oklahoma Policy Institute (OPI).
A couple with two children earning $35,000 a year could pay $180 more per year under this proposal, while elderly couples on fixed incomes could lose most or all of their $80 Sales Tax Relief Credit, OPI stated.
“The tax increase on low- and moderate-income families would take effect at the same time as lawmakers are allowing a tax cut for top incomes that costs more than twice as much ($147 million) and provides minimal or no benefits to most families that could now lose these broad-based credits,” OPI stated.