Inaction Creates Divisions Among Lawmakers As Budget Deadline Looms
OKLAHOMA CITY - Lawmakers only have a few days left to fill the state's $215 million budget hole but talks are at a stand still.
After finding the way to make up nearly half the shortfall, where the state is going to find the rest of that money is still unclear.
A vote on several measures were scheduled Tuesday but ended up being canceled.
Lawmakers, still at an impasse over whether to raise the gross production tax on oil and gas, are running out of time to vote or find another solution as the deadline for getting taxes in place is Friday.
The inaction is also creating division between the House and the Senate, and not just along party lines. Republican leadership criticized House colleagues for going back on their word.
"Greg, it seems odd that the House would pass $106 million worth of measures without first talking with you and the governor to see if you're behind it. I agree. It does seem odd. It's not out of character though. What do you mean by that? If you see what I have thought of in the past few days on the House actions, their agreements with seem to mean nothing," Senate Majority Floor Leader Greg Treat said.
The state's budget problems have also led to a new rating from the credit rating agency Moody's to say Oklahoma was one of the least prepared states for the next recession.