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cigarette tax

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma has ruled that a fee on cigarettes approved during the 2017 legislative session is unconstitutional.

MilitaryHealth / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court hears arguments August 8 in the case over the state’s new $1.50-per-pack cigarette fee.

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Two of the largest tobacco companies in the U.S. are suing Oklahoma over the state’s new cigarette fee.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin signed the Fiscal Year 2018 Oklahoma state budget Wednesday.

Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma state lawmakers have yet to agree on a plan to raise money for the state, and could be facing special session. 

In this Feb. 6, 2017 photo, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb speaks at the State of the State in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogracki / AP

 

Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb stepped down from the governor’s cabinet due to his opposition to the governor’s tax plan during a busy legislative week that included moves on an abortion bill and several teacher pay raise proposals.

Lamb’s resignation was well received by the 14 legislators who pledged to fight against service sales taxes.

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, left, talks to House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, before Gov. Mary Fallin delivered her State of the State address, February 1, 2016.
J. Pat Carter / AP

Shortly after noon Friday, the Oklahoma Senate adjourned sine die. At the same time, members of the House entered the third hour of questions on the $6.8 billion budget bill to fund state government for the 2017 fiscal year that begins July 1.

State Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, on the floor of the Oklahoma House in Oklahoma City, March 2, 2015.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma House rejected a proposed $1.50 per-pack tax on cigarettes to help shore up the state's health care system.

Updated May 19, 10:36 a.m.

House Bill 3210 failed on a vote of 59-40 against the measure even after House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, held the vote open for more than two hours Wednesday night to fix what he called a “health care disaster.” Republicans blaming Democrats for the bill's failure.

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

In a time of tough budget decisions, some Capitol watchers say this could be one of the most straightforward choices the Oklahoma Legislature makes this year. 

 

With a few quick floor votes lawmakers could raise more than $180 million a year and help battle the scourge of lung disease, all with a tax that many state residents will never pay.