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2017 Oklahoma Legislative Session

As Budget Deal Remains Elusive, Inaction Could Cost State

Oct 11, 2017
Oklahoma Capitol
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Each passing day without a deal to bridge the state’s $215 million budget shortfall means less potential revenue will be available if lawmakers pass one or multiple tax increases.

An Oklahoma Watch analysis of state projections shows that each day that lawmakers don’t pass the $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax would cost the state between $680,305 and $712,265 in potential new revenue, depending on what calculations the state uses.

American currency
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Legislators aren’t the only ones who returned to the Capitol for the special session.

If it’s anything like the regular session, lobbyists will be picking up the tabs for pricey dinners and drinks during the days or weeks to come. Lobbyists spent almost half a million dollars on meals and gifts for lawmakers and other public officials during the spring session.

Oklahoma Secretary of State

Governor Mary Fallin has officially ordered a special legislative session to convene on Sept. 25.

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The Oklahoma state Supreme Court ruled Thursday a sales tax on motor vehicles is constitutional.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address Feb. 1, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Governor Mary Fallin says state legislators must return to the Capitol for a special legislative session. In a statement released Wednesday, Fallin said the session is the only way to fill a budget hole created when the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a smoking cessation fee last week.

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

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

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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
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It’s been one week since state lawmakers finished the regular legislative session and passed a state budget. Here’s what’s happened this week in politics...

 

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin at her 2017 State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2017.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lawmakers finished the 2017 legislative session on Friday the passage of a nearly $7 billion budget. Legislators accomplished some of their goals this year, including compliance with the federal REAL ID Act and a $1.50 fee per pack of cigarettes. But there were also several things that did not happen at the statehouse, including the five items listed below.

Oklahoma state Reps. Leslie Osborn, center, R-Mustang, Kevin Wallace, left, R-Wellston and Glen Mulready, right, R-Tulsa, talk on the House floor in Oklahoma City, Monday, May 22, 2017.
Sue Ogracki / AP

Oklahoma’s legislative session came to a close on Friday, as lawmakers passed a nearly $7 billion budget.

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma legislature wraps up today, as lawmakers pass a final budget deal that will fill a nearly $900 million shortfall. Legislators passed several bills that will have an impact on business in the state. Journal Record editor Ted Streuli and KGOU’s Jacob McCleland reviewed some of the business-related bills.

A demonstrator holds up seven fingers to send a message to a House committee that lawmakers should remove discounts and incentives so all oil and gas wells are taxed at 7 percent.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers have struggled for months to agree on a formula to patch a nearly $900 million budget hole and sign off on a plan that funds state agencies. To help pay for the budget plan, lawmakers are considering ways to squeeze more from taxes on oil and gas production, an option that has divided politicians and one of the state’s biggest industries.

Matteo Paciotti / Flickr.com

Republicans and Democrats spent weeks battling over ways to fill Oklahoma’s budget shortfall. The two parties have found little common ground on tax revenue, but they have been able to agree on some items that could make it easier to toast legislative achievements, or drown their sorrows following a bill’s defeat.

 

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 Monday, April 17, 2017 file photo, state Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow is pictured on the House floor in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogracki / AP

Lawmakers are nearing the deadline to propose revenue-raising measures to fill Oklahoma’s $878 million budget hole. All budget and appropriations bills must be introduced before May 19.

Oklahoma state schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister discusses school issues during her interview for KGOU's Capitol Insider.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

In this bonus Capitol Insider interview, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley sit down with Oklahoma state schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister to talk about education issues, including the state's revised A through F school grading system, teacher pay and four day school weeks. 

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin gestures to a chart of budget shortfalls during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Tensions are rising at the Oklahoma capitol as the legislative session comes to an end, with the state facing a $878 million budget deficit, and no revenue raising measures in sight.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Faillin held a press conference on Wednesday, May 3, 2017,, asking state legislators to balance Oklahoma's budget.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is urging state lawmakers to work together to find ways to fill the state’s nearly $900 million budget hole.

“This is a serious problem,” Fallin said addressing legislators and reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday.

“It requires leadership and courage to find solutions to the problems that we face in our state. And to not play partisan gridlock politics like we see in Washington, D.C.,” Fallin said.

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