In The Know is your daily briefing on Oklahoma policy-related news. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. Click here to subscribe to In The Know and see past editions.
Today In The News
Oklahoma health providers fear they’ll bear costs after cigarette tax falls: A cigarette fee that would have balanced Oklahoma’s budget has gone down in flames, and some health care providers worry cuts could devastate rural services if lawmakers don’t come up with more revenue. The court’s decision raised fears of cuts to Medicaid and other social services programs. The tax would have raised $215 million. [The Oklahoman] Lawmakers must go back to special session and finish job of funding core services [OK Policy]
The tobacco fee was our ‘only opportunity to balance the budget’: On Thursday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that SB 845, that instituted a $1.50 per pack fee on cigarettes, was unconstitutional. The fee was expected to generate $258 million to be allocated to several health agencies in the state. House Speaker Charles McCall stated that the state budget is suffering because Oklahoma families and businesses are struggling. [Fox25]
Oklahoma Legislature in limbo after courts declare cigarette fee unconstitutional: The Supreme Court has deemed the controversial “cigarette fee” passed by the Oklahoma Legislatures during the 2017 session unconstitutional. The fee, which was expected to generate $254 million for the state by adding a $1.50 per pack fee on cigarettes, was deemed by the court a revenue generating bill that was not passed through the legal channels in Oklahoma. “It doesn’t surprise me that the bill was deemed unconstitutional,” Rep. Pat Ownbey (R-Ardmore) said. “The reason I did not support that legislation is because it was unconstitutional. I wasn’t against what it was trying to do, but I thought it was a revenue raising measure.” [The Daily Ardmoreite]
Continue Reading »