House Speaker Charles McCall announces recess to seek budget agreement
Published: September 28th, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – House Speaker Charles McCall on Wednesday (September 27) announced the House will recess to “the call of the chair” to allow the Legislature and governor to continue negotiating a plan to address the budget. This will allow time to seek an accord “without wasting additional taxpayer dollars,” a release from his office said.
“It is clear that House Democrats continue to play politics and do not intend to vote in support of the cigarette tax to address the budget hole created when the Supreme Court struck down the cigarette fee. The Court was clear that the Legislature must pass the tax with a 75 percent majority vote. House Republicans stand ready to deliver 75 percent of our caucus to pass the cigarette tax, but House Democrats have so far given no indication that they are willing to deliver 75 percent of their caucus so we can pass the tax and use other resources to fill the hole. The cigarette fee is what the Court struck down, so the first priority is to address that by passing the cigarette tax,” McCall said in the statement sent to CapitolBeatOK and other news organizations.
“House Republicans do have a plan to address the hole without House Democrats, but we will need the support of the governor and the Senate, who we have continued to negotiate with this week. While we are closer to an agreement, we are not going to waste $30,000 a day negotiating. We pledge to continue negotiating in good faith with the governor and Senate, but we are going to do that off the clock. When there is an agreement in place, we will return and take care of the people’s business,” Speaker McCall said.