Gaming, cigarette tax, health care top legislative wish list

Sunday, December 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Tribal gaming, a cigarette tax increase and health care are at the top of the Oklahoma Legislature's agenda for 2004.

But election-year politics and a budget weakened by three years of declining revenue will likely affect the outcome.

Lawmakers will be asked to revisit some proposals that didn't make the cut this year. They include a one-dollar hike in the state tax on cigarettes and a plan to allow Oklahoma's struggling racetracks to offer the same kinds of games featured at popular tribal casinos.

The Legislature may tackle some new issues when it convenes in February. They include a plan touted by Governor Henry to offer health care coverage to Oklahomans who do not qualify for Medicaid benefits and cannot afford private health insurance.