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
Another Budget Special Session Is Ahead: Gov. Mary Fallin will ask the Oklahoma Legislature to return to the state Capitol for a special session to address the state’s ongoing budget shortfalls that have jeopardized funding for state services. Fallin spokesman Michael McNutt said Monday the governor is working to pin down potential dates and define the parameters of her special session call that will determine what kind of bills lawmakers can consider. The Republican governor caught legislative leaders from her own party off guard last week when she vetoed a bill that would have closed a $215 million hole in the budget through a combination of cuts to agency budgets and raids on state savings accounts [AP]. The vetoed budget was a squandered opportunity of massive proportions [OK Policy]. Frequently asked questions about Oklahoma’s special session, including an update after Gov. Fallin’s veto [OK Policy].
Fallin’s bold move to force a better state budget needs public help: Just when it looked like Oklahoma was doomed to more legislative negligence at the behest of big oil companies, Gov. Mary Fallin asserted her authority and insisted that things must change. On Friday, Fallin vetoed most of an unacceptable state budget, which lawmakers had thrown at her as they fled the state Capitol, falsely declaring their work done. It was a bold move, and the right one [Editorial Board / Tulsa World]. Thanksgiving and Gov. Fallin’s courage [Ted Streuli / Journal Record].
More fights expected during second special session: The Oklahoma Legislature will convene for a second special legislative session this year, and if Friday was any indication, the Senate will be a force to be reckoned with. The Senate was broken into two factions during its vote on the budget deal Friday: a group that wanted to kill the bill and keep trying for a better package, and a group that said the bill was terrible but had to pass. Friday’s debate highlighted an already visible divide between the two chambers. About 8 p.m. that night, hours after the Senate lamented, then passed House Bill 1019 by a vote of 29-14, Gov. Mary Fallin announced she had line-item vetoed almost all of it [Journal Record].
Continue Reading »