2017 special legislative session

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Governor Mary Fallin has vetoed most of the latest budget bill, while keeping temporary funding intact  for the health and human services adversely affected when the cigarette fee was ruled unconstitutional.

Fallin announced the veto late Friday, after both legislative chambers had adjourned the special session. In a press release, she said she will be calling back lawmakers soon for a second special session.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the latest fix for the $215M shortfall in the budget made up with cash reserves and cuts to state agencies and the special elections this week where Republicans managed to hold on to two seats, but lost one in Tulsa.

Governor Mary Fallin says she's uncertain what she is going to do with the latest budget bill to cover the $215 million shortfall. She has said in the past she would veto any measure which makes cuts to state agencies and spends cash reserves.

With the latest budget fix, Fallin says lawmakers are kicking the can down the road.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the failure by the State House to pass a measure to increase taxes on cigarettes, gas, low-pont beer and oil and gas wells to help fix a $215M shortfall in the budget, the State Health Department says it can't make payroll at the end of the month without a supplemental appropriation from the legislature and a national credit rating agency warns Oklahoma could drop in its credit rating because of a failure to fix the budget.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

There was a lot of hope pinned on Wednesday's vote in the Oklahoma House.

For seven weeks, lawmakers have argued over how to fill a $215 million dollar budget hole. But a vote on a bill touted as a “grand bargain” failed.

Lawmakers have largely agreed to increase taxes on beer, tobacco and fuel. The biggest sticking point throughout the special session has been whether to raise taxes on oil and natural gas production.

Updated: November 8, 2017 at 6:01 p.m.

After nearly four hours of floor debate and questions, a budget package that would have filled most of the state’s estimated $215 million budget shortfall and provide raises to teachers and some state employees has failed in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 1054 would have raised the production tax rate on oil wells from 2 to 4 percent and increased taxes on cigarettes, fuel, and low point beer.

Oklahoma State Senate

In the ongoing budget saga at the Oklahoma State Capitol, there was some bipartisan movement on Monday in the state Senate. Lawmakers have already agreed to increase the cigarette tax and fuel taxes, but the sticking point has been the gross production tax on oil and gas wells.

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would decrease the tax discounts on oil and gas wells after failing to come to another agreement. That bill only required a simple majority (51 percent) of lawmakers to vote in favor.

Oklahoma is facing a budget gap of $215 million, and social services and schools are already feeling the impact. State lawmakers are six weeks into a special session on what to do about it.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with KGOU’s Jacob McCleland (@jacobmccleland).

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about changes at the state Department of Health with the resignation of the agency's commissioner and deputy along with the firing of its chief lawyer amid allegations of mismanagement, lawmakers pass patches to fix the budget after a grand bargain fails to pass out of committee and the State Supreme Court places a hold on a DUI law from taking effect while looking into its constitutionality.

okhouse.gov

A Republican state Representative from Chickasha says he's resigning his seat immediately to reportedly take a job with the federal government.

Rep. Scott Biggs was first elected to office in 2012, and re-elected in 2016.

In his resignation letter, Biggs says his new post will be to promote Oklahoma's agriculture industry, but did not specify what job he will take.

"I believe I can do much more for our state as I work to promote the agriculture industry in Oklahoma, which has always been and will continue to be an integral part of my family's heritage."

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