The Latest: Gov. Fallin vetoes budget bill with shortfall
Nov. 18, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on a budget bill passed by the Oklahoma Legislature meeting in special session (all times local):
Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have raided cash reserves and cut deeper into agency funding to balance the state budget.
That sets up a showdown with her own party in the Legislature.
Fallin vetoed the measure Friday, hours after the state Senate's final approval. She had tried unsuccessfully to persuade GOP House members to increase taxes to keep government running.
State revenue has shrunk by hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years because of less cash from oil and natural gas production and the effects of income tax cuts, exemptions and deductions.
The House and Senate ended an eight-week special session Friday that convened to plug a $215 million budget hole. Fallin could call another special session to try again for a fix.
The Oklahoma Senate has approved a bill that will cut funding to most state agencies and will spend cash reserves to finish plugging a budget shortfall after lawmakers failed to pass a broad package of tax increases.
Its fate now rests with Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.
Friday's vote would impose cuts of about 2.5 percent on most agencies to make up for expected revenue lost from an unconstitutional cigarette tax the Legislature approved in May. The rest of the $215 million budget hole would be filled by using one-time money, including savings accounts.
Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Sept. 25 for a special session to fix the budget and find longer-term solutions to chronic shortfalls that have forced deep cuts to agencies and services for three consecutive years.