Governor Brad Henry would call special session on Boeing if needed

Thursday, October 2nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Brad Henry said Thursday he will call a special session of the Legislature if quick action is needed on incentives designed to land a Boeing plant in Tulsa.

Henry, D-Oklahoma City, has previously shrugged off the idea of a special session on rolling back tax law changes and other issues, saying they could wait until the regular legislative session in February.

But he said if Oklahoma "gets down to the final test" on the Boeing plant a special session might be needed to "tweak the Quality Jobs Act and do some other things we've proposed."

"I feel confident we are in the hunt" for the Boeing plant, the governor said.

On another issue, Henry said no decisions had been made a replacement for Bob Ricks as public safety commissioner. Ricks is leaving later this month to become police chief in Edmond.

Ricks also served as the state's homeland security director.

Henry said it is possible that one person would be named to be public safety commissioner, cabinet secretary of safety and security and director of homeland security.

He also commented that Oklahoma Highway Patrol Maj. Kerry Pettingill "is doing a great job" as deputy homeland security director.

Henry said talks are continuing with Indian tribes on gambling compacts, but he fully anticipates legislative approval will be sought if agreements are reached.

Under compacts proposed by the Henry administration, pari-mutuel horse race tracks would be allowed to operate games now played at tribal casinos.

The compacts would legalize some games on Indian land that have been called into question by federal regulators.

Also, for the first time, the state would regulate tribal gaming and share in gambling proceeds.

"It seems to me to be a win-win situation," Henry said.