Budget Negotiations Continue At The Capitol; Lawmakers Frustrated

Friday, May 19th 2017, 7:32 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

This week, two separate revenue deals were made to try to bridge the estimated $900-million budget shortfall, and both have failed.

Now, members of the House of Representatives are being told to prepare for another possible deal Friday evening, and to also prepare to work through the weekend.

During a joint House budget meeting, representatives were told they could see a bill on a cigarette tax and on a gross production tax increase. That's the tax on the production of oil and natural gas. It's been a major sticking point of this budget process with Republicans wanting it to remain at two-percent on new wells, and Democrats wanting it to go up to five-percent. 

While legislative leaders meet behind closed doors to try to hash out a deal, rank and file lawmakers are getting frustrated.

By law, revenue raising measures like new taxes and fees can't be heard within the last five days of session. So technically, the legislature can still take up those matters through the weekend.

The governor can also call a concurrent session allowing them to raise revenues next week, but by law they have to have a budget in place by next Friday.