Budget Backlash Creates Political Tension Surrounding Special Session

Friday, May 27th 2022, 9:21 pm


Tensions reach a boiling point at the Capitol. House Speaker Charles McCall fired back at the Governor saying his demands on inflation relief are dishonest and disrespectful. 

Frustration has been building for over a week. May 16th to be exact. 

“This budget was not in an agreement. Agreement requires negotiation requires consensus. Negotiations did not happen in this year's budget,” Stitt said. 

Governor Stitt said he received the nearly 10-billion-dollar budget over a week ago. He says other Oklahomans were left in the dark on negotiations. 

“He completely mischaracterized processes, legislative processes in both the house and senate. Completely undermined the hard work that members of the legislature do year around,” McCall said. 

Governor Stitt said more could've been done to create inflation relief. He line-item vetoed parts of the budget including Senate Bill 1052 which would dedicate seven million dollars to private prisons and House Bill 3501 which would allow traffic offenses to follow drivers outside of tribal land. 

The Senate and House overrode those vetoes along with several others, some even passing unanimously. 

“I think that there was a message that was being sent out of the house of representatives that we have been the leader on inflation relief. I'm glad that the governor is finally getting on board with all of our great policy ideas when it comes to inflation relief. Welcome to party,” Rep. Ryan Martinez said. 

“We are completely appalled and disappointed that the governor would conduct himself the way that he did yesterday. That is well beneath the office that he holds,” McCall said. 

A special session, called by the Governor is set to begin June 13. Governor Stitt said he's looking forward to working with the legislature to eliminate the grocery sales tax and reduce personal income tax.