Gov. Stitt Providing Updates On Tribal Tags, Budget

Gov. Kevin Stitt was in Tulsa Friday to give an update on everything from tribal tags to the budget issues. Stitt did this week’s press conference in TPD’s Real Time Information Center at City Hall, for National Police Week.

Friday, May 17th 2024, 6:19 pm



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Gov. Kevin Stitt was in Tulsa Friday to give an update on everything from tribal tags to the budget issues.

Gov. Stitt did this week’s press conference in TPD’s Real Time Information Center at City Hall, for National Police Week.

He said he wants to do anything he can to help departments like Tulsa police.

He said one of the biggest challenges he’s heard from officers are with tribes like the Cherokee Nation because Cherokee plates don’t have visibility through the Turnpike Authority. 

Stitt said the state is losing out on money from tribes like Cherokee and he is asking for compacts with the Cherokees and Creeks like the state already has with the Choctaws and Chickasaws.

“It makes no sense to me how we can have tags that the state and law enforcement doesn’t know who they are," Stitt said.

In response, the Cherokee Nation sent this statement: 

“Platepay did not exist in Oklahoma 10 years ago. Clearly, Governor Stitt is using his Friday press briefings as political attacks to secure a Cherokee Nation tribal car compact and the Cherokee Nation is not biting. When it comes to Cherokee Nation’s Motor Vehicle Tag compact, we seek win/win solutions that best serve our citizens, communities, and solutions respectful of Cherokee Nation tribal sovereignty.
Our current compact which expires at the end of the year has ensured we participated in OLETS, the database accessed by law enforcement across the state, and across the country, to keep motorists and law enforcement officers safe,” – Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

The Nation also sent statements from law enforcement agencies it's worked with:

“I’ve worked in law enforcement for decades, and using OLETS, our officers have always been able to receive car registration information for Cherokee citizens who have tribal car tags and been stopped. There has never been a safety concern accessing or using this information which is available to law enforcement agencies,” Cherokee County Sheriff Jason Chennault said.

“In my years working in law enforcement, including at the Adair County Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee Nation has been a supportive partner that works with fellow law enforcement officers to help keep our communities safe. Our deputies have always had access to receiving registration information for Cherokee citizens with tribal car tags who are stopped during a traffic stop. This information is available through the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (OLETS), which is provided to law enforcement agencies," said Adair County Sheriff Jason Ritchie.

The House and Senate are also still negotiating the budget, and Stitt said he wants to see money returned to taxpayers.

Stitt said his goals are for the state to not spend more than its revenue.

He said the recurring revenue for the state is $11.4 billion and the flat budget is $10.4 billion, so it's time to give some money back to taxpayers.

He also wants to add to the state savings account, and to choke off government instead of growing it.

“Let’s make sure we protect the future of Oklahoma. I think Oklahomans know we got an amazing economy. It's been doing great. We can't keep spending every dime we have, or we put ourselves in a bad situation," Stitt said.

Stitt said he would like to lower the state income tax or eliminate it entirely for the poorest Oklahomans.

He encourages the House and Senate to reach an agreement by the end of the month to cut taxes.

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