Budget Plan Fails In State House Of Representatives

Thursday, October 26th 2017, 9:31 am
By: Grant Hermes

It's back to the drawing board for state Representatives after the new GOP budget deal failed at the Capitol. 

They're expected to meet again Thursday to try and work something else out as cuts to thousands of state services loom on the horizon. 

Their budget deal included new taxes on cigarettes, gas and alcohol among other things. 

It did not, however, include an increase in the gross production tax on oil and gas -- something Democrats said they need in a budget to agree to one. 

Republicans said no to that and instead offered a separate vote on the oil and gas tax but Democrats turned that down, saying it wasn't a serious offer.

The plan needed 76 votes to pass and it only got 54, meaning there were 18 Republicans that broke with their own party.

After a rare press conference and a testy exchange, House Speaker Charles McCall used explicit language to address Democrats, seeming to think he was away from reporters. 

In the middle of all of this, House Democrats learned they'd be losing their leader Rep. Scott Inman, who said he was resigning from his legislative seat and ending his campaign for governor. He cited a need to focus on his family. He had been leading the charge in the budget fight for Democrats. 

Republicans could begin passing 51-vote measures to bypass the Democrats. Those would likely remove certain tax exemptions to raise revenue.

In the meantime, the Department of Human Services said it will be forced to eliminate or reduce programs for more than 120,000 children, seniors and adults with disabilities.