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Today In The News
Senate Republicans call for hiking motor fuels taxes as special session opens: Senate Republicans on Monday proposed increasing the gasoline and diesel tax as one way of plugging the budget hole that brought lawmakers back to the Capitol for a special session. Lawmakers met briefly in separate chambers Monday for the start of a special session called by Gov. Mary Fallin after the Oklahoma Supreme Court said lawmakers had violated the law in passing a $1.50 cigarette tax as a “fee” during the regular session [Tulsa World]. No agreement was made after the first day of special session [Oklahoma Watch]. Lawmakers have good revenue options for special session if they have the will to use them [OK Policy].
McCall: Cigarette tax ‘first priority,’ GPT not focus right now: After Oklahoma’s 56th Legislature gaveled in this afternoon for the state’s first special session since 2013, House of Representatives leadership said passage of the storied $1.50 cigarette tax is top priority in filling a $215 million budget hole. “First priority of the House (…) will be to take up the tobacco tax,” House Speaker Charles McCall (R-Atoka) said Monday. “That is the issue that will fix the hole that’s been created, and to the extent we can do that, that dictates other conversations we’ll have.” [NonDoc]
As Legislature gathers, Oklahomans await results: When the compressor broke on the industrial refrigerator at the Cocina De Mino Mexican restaurant in south Oklahoma City, co-owner Tim Wagner faced a $5,000 replacement or a quick fix for around $1,500. “I just went ahead and paid for a new one because you can’t always put a Band-Aid on problems,” said Wagner, sitting in his windowless office behind the kitchen, between stacks of purchase orders and food inventory lists [NewsOK]. The special session started quietly [Journal Record].
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