Okla. Lawmakers Work To Override Vetoed Bills During Special Session

At the Capitol lawmakers are back in the building to take action on legislation that the governor vetoed. Today, the House took up a bill dealing with tribal compacts.

Monday, June 12th 2023, 6:13 pm



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At the Capitol lawmakers are back in the building to take action on legislation that the governor vetoed. Today, the House took up a bill dealing with tribal compacts.

Members of the House of Representatives got a ⅔ majority vote to override HB1005X. The bill extends a decade old tribal compact until 2024.

“That's all this is- it's one year to work with our tribal partners to come up with a long-term solution,” said Rep. Jon Echols (R-OKC).

The compact allows tribes to share revenue with the state for things like car registrations and licenses. 

“If we do not have compact, tribal nations are still allowed to have tags and they don't have to pay anything to the state of Oklahoma,” said Rep. Echols.

The bill was vetoed by Governor Stitt, who said in the veto message the bill was a clear violation of Oklahoma's law and wasn’t in the state’s best interest.

“The compacts are created because we are one Oklahoma,” said Rep. Echols.

The Choctaw nation responded to Stitt’s veto, saying “Significant majorities in both chambers of the Legislature voted to extend tobacco and vehicle compacts for one year because they provide important, ongoing benefits for the people of Oklahoma.”

“By vetoing these bills, Gov. Stitt has once again put his personal hostility to tribal sovereignty ahead of what is good for the state and what is good for the tribes,” said Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton.

On the other hand, floor leader Jon Echols says it’s just a policy distinction.

“The majority of the legislature thinks it makes sense to extend these tribal compacts for one year,” said Rep. Echols.

In the veto message Stitt called the bill unconstitutional. Stitt said the bill didn’t fall within the scope of the special session, where legislators were only supposed to discuss the distribution of ARPA funds, and bills related to the budget.

“There's no legal basis for that claim,” said Rep. Echols. “It does relate within the scope as it relates to budget related matters. If it were to fail this would be a loss of revenue within Oklahoma.”

The bill was vetoed at the same time as a tobacco compact bill that the Senate has plans to override as well.

“The cost of these compacts far exceeds, and we lose far more revenue than the cost of one more day of special session,” said Rep. Echols.

The Senate plans to come to the Capitol in two weeks where they would have the chance to veto override this bill and their tribal compact bill. Once both bills receive veto overrides in each chamber, they become law.

On the House floor today, members also voted to extend the special session until July 31. Representative Echols explained that this will give ample time for the Senate to come in and veto override, and the House to return one more day to override.

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