Yesterday's state Supreme Court ruling to strike down the added fee on cigarettes is forcing local agencies to react to the fallout as the budget now sits with a more than $200 million hole.
Many agencies, including the Oklahoma State School Board Association, are speaking out about the issue. The board is requesting Governor Mary Fallin call for a special legislative session to find additional revenue to fix the broken budget. They want lawmakers to come up with a fix, one that hopefully includes a teacher pay raise and investments in schools around the state.
"Starting the school year amid budget uncertainty is bad for children," Shawn Hime, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, says, "and bad for schools. Oklahoma desperately needs a budget with long-term revenue sources to ensure our schools have the resources needed to keep and hire the best educators and provide a high-quality education for every child."
Several lawmakers were reacting on social media as well yesterday, saying they need to go back to the drawing board for a solution.