OKLAHOMA CITY — The Latest on Gov. Mary Fallin’s plan to call for a special session on the budget (all times local):
House Speaker Charles McCall says House Republicans want to reconsider a cigarette tax in special session to help close a roughly $215 million hole in the current year’s budget.
McCall announced the proposal on Wednesday after Gov. Mary Fallin says she plans to call lawmakers back to the Capitol later this month for a special session to fix the budget.
McCall says passage of a cigarette tax would generate about $122 million through the rest of the year. He says the rest of the budget hole could be made up through a combination of cash and money from the Rainy Day Fund.
The Legislature’s attempt to pass a $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax earlier this year was thrown out by the Oklahoma Supreme Court because it didn’t receive a three-fourth’s vote.
Gov. Mary Fallin says she plans to ask lawmakers to return for a special session to adjust the budget after the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a proposed cigarette tax that resulted in a $215 million shortfall.
Fallin announced Wednesday she intends to call for a special session on Sept. 25 to make adjustments to the current fiscal year’s budget. She said in a statement she would issue a formal call in the next few days.
Fallin has been meeting with lawmakers from both parties in recent weeks to discuss ways to make up for the lost revenue, but there’s no indication that any agreement has been reached.
The $215 million in cigarette tax revenue had been earmarked for three state agencies that provide health and human services.