Republicans and Democrats Disagree Over Whether There Is A Budget Deal

Thursday, October 5th 2017, 7:31 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

The state capitol was filled with more of the same budget drama as lawmakers continued to work to bridge a $215 million shortfall. Democrats said Thursday morning an agreement was reached but Governor Mary Fallin said later that day there was no agreement in place.

"We are in agreement with the plan the Governor and I and House and Senate Republicans have at least contributed to over the last six weeks," said House Minority Leader Scott Inman.

The purported deal includes:
- $1.50 per pack cigarette tax
- Six cents per gallon tax on fuel
- Five percent gross production tax on new oil and natural gas wells
- Raised the income tax rate on those making $250,000 or more to 5.25 percent

"When you include the entire package together," Rep. Inman said, "it totals to about $560 million worth of revenue." Inman said that's more than enough to fill the budget hole and even give teachers a $2,000 raise.

But the governor insists there is no deal. Gov. Fallin called a press conference later Thursday afternoon to refute Inman and other Democrats.

"There is no budget agreement. And first of all, if I had a budget agreement, I would announce it myself."

The governor says she outlined what the proposals are but no agreement was ever actually reached. She added she's frustrated with the lack of progress made.

"(I)f there's only one person at the altar, there is no marriage."

The House of Representatives has been told to return to the Capitol Monday if leaders can strike a deal by then.