Oklahoma Legislature Emerges From Rare Weekend Meetings Without A Budget Agreement

May 22, 2017

About 100 protesters were at the Oklahoma State Capitol this weekend, urging lawmakers to raise taxes on oil and gas companies in order to fix the state’s budget.

One protester, Kara Joy McKee, says Oklahoma is in a crisis, and it’s only fair that oil companies do their part to help.

"Our schools are going to four day schools, we’re having to close rural hospitals and nursing homes, it’s not time to let one industry set their tax rate any longer."

Republicans and Democrats are in a stalemate over how to fund the budget. Democrats want to raise the gross production tax to at least five percent. But Republicans refuse, saying a tax hike that big could hurt the industry.

Lawmakers hoped to agree on something by their deadline Sunday, but as of this morning, there is still no deal.

The state has until Friday to fill an estimated $878 million budget shortfall. Gov. Mary Fallin may declare a special session this week in order for the legislature to file revenue-raising measures.