State House Passes Budget Bills, Governor Promises Veto

Thursday, April 19th 2007, 4:44 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma House Thursday narrowly approved five state agency funding bills that supporters said match dollar-for-dollar the spending levels that Gov. Brad Henry recommended in his executive budget.

Henry said he will veto the bills and urged lawmakers to "stop the political games."

"Anyone who is familiar with the budgeting process knows you cannot approve single appropriations bills without first reaching agreement on an overall budget framework, and that hasn't happened yet," Henry said in a statement.

Last month, Henry vetoed a $6.9 billion budget plan prepared by House and Senate leaders without the input of the governor and the House's Democratic minority.

House Speaker Lance Cargill said the latest bills are an attempt to find common ground with Henry.

"We only have about a month left in the legislative session," said Cargill, R-Harrah. "This gives the governor an opportunity to find common ground with us, so that we can determine what his specific concerns are."

The five bills include funding for the Conservation Commission, Department of Libraries, Human Rights Commission, Tax Commission, and the State Treasurer's office.

Cargill said Henry has indicated he agrees with 90% of the budget plan passed by the Legislature but has declined to offer details about what portions of the budget plan he disagrees with.

Henry said he is disappointed that House Republican leaders "are continuing to play games with the budget as the clock ticks toward adjournment."

Related stories:

3/19/2007 Agreement Will Keep Legislature On Track To Adjourn

3/22/2007 House Democrats Close Ranks With Governor In State Budget Spat

3/25/2007 Budget Spat Gives House Democrats Reason To Crow

3/26/2007 Governor Says Budget Process Flawed, Line-Item Vetoes Likely

3/28/2007 Governor Vetoes Bulk Of 2008 Spending Bill

4/10/2007 State House Democrats Call For Fresh Start In Budget Process

4/12/2007 Cargill Calls Budget Impasse 'Theater Of The Absurd'

4/15/2007 Governor Brad Henry Using Old Gubernatorial Tactic