There was some tension this week at the state capitol as inflation relief measures the governor called for stalled in the state Senate.
Seven inflation relief measures are in limbo this week after questions about a procedural issue leave the third special session wrapping up – with nothing to show for it.
The House adjourned with no official date for resumption their third special session early Wednesday afternoon after passing seven grocery and personal tax cut measures on to the state Senate.
The Senate said they can’t do anything with them now. Senate floor majority leader Greg McCortney responded to the announcement.
“Seems clear to anyone with a decent understanding of the English language that the House can’t stand adjourned and still be sitting,” McCortney said.
Senate leaders also expressed concern that tax cuts are unwise during concerns over a possible recession.
“Coming in after a budget is approved sort of at a split second, at an election year when the atmosphere is very politically charged but yield tax reform, that is not very good that we might live to regret,” state Sen. Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville) said.
House leadership said there’s no procedural issue.
“Obviously, the bills are over there. We’ve met the call of the governor’s special session, and so, it’s up to the senate now, if they want to follow through and if they want to address it or not,” said House Speaker Pro Tempore Kyle Hilbert (R-Bristow).
Governor Stitt wants something done regardless.
“So, I can call the House back to pass more if that’s what needs to happen,” Stitt said.
This week, the capitol was packed with two special sessions running at the same time.
During the second Special Session, lawmakers passed seven bills to the governor’s desk worth $70 million in American Rescue Plan projects as the body seeks to spend approximately $1 billion in federal COVID relief dollars before 2026.
Sessions are required to last a minimum of three days.