Special Session To Begin Monday - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

NEWS

Special Session To Begin Monday

Posted: Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Lawmakers will head back Monday morning to the state Capitol to begin an ordered special session to fill a multi-million dollar budget gap.

Legislators are tasked with finding a way to make up for a $215 million gap created after the state Supreme Court struck down a $1.50 tax on cigarettes in August. The Court deemed the tax unconstitutional because it was passed after a constitutional deadline for revenue raising measures. 

Gov. Mary Fallin issued an executive order, calling for the rare summer session and said she would veto any proposals that would make cuts to state agencies already working on minimal budgets after the state faced a near billion-dollar budget deficit during the regular session.  

"It is apparent that rapid changes in our economy have created unsustainable and unpredictable revenue collection patterns,” Fallin wrote. “We need to seek long-term sustainability and stability as opposed to unpredictability and volatility.”

Fallin also said she wanted to see work done on teacher pay raises that went unfunded during the regular session despite promises from lawmakers. Adding the raises would mean needing to find an additional $60 million.

Last week, Democrats pushed to find funding by raising the gross production tax on oil and gas companies. The controversial increase prompted protests and eventually led to a political stalemate before the regular session wrapped up in May.

Speaker of the House Charles McCall had strong words for the governor and Democrats alike, showing signs there may be political fireworks in store for the session. 

"I appreciate the governor's desire to protect state agencies from further cuts, but, unfortunately, that's not realistic without using carryover cash and Rainy Day funds, which the governor has, so far, indicated an unwillingness to do,” McCall said. “As for the tobacco tax, I have no reason to believe the Democrats are willing to do the right thing on that issue.”

The session, called to fix a problem created by the Legislature, will cost taxpayers an estimated $30,000 per day and could last up to two weeks. 

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.