Talks on Oklahoma budget break down at rare weekend session
Updated: 3:32 PM CDT May 20, 2017
Talks have broken down yet again between Oklahoma lawmakers meeting for a rare weekend session to find ways to close a nearly $880 million budget hole.
Legislators are bound by the state’s constitution to pass revenue-raising measures by Sunday or be forced to call a special session to complete work on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
One sticking point during Saturday’s negotiations was a proposal by Democrats to increase the gross production tax on oil and natural gas wells from its current 2 percent level up to as much as 5 percent on a sliding scale.
Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry and some Republican leaders have said that too much of a tax increase could prompt companies to drill in other states.
WEBVTT KOCO’S PATRINA ADGER ISFOLLOWING THE LATEST.PATRINA: ALL EYES WILL BE ON THECAPITAL OF THIS WEEKEND.BOTH THE SENATE JOINT COMMITTEEON APPROPRIATIONS AND BUDGETHAVE ADJOURNED AND THE HOUSE DIDTHE SAME THING ONE HOUR AGO.THERE HAVE BEEN NEGOTIATIONSGOING ON FOR MOST OF THE DAY ANDTHE BUDGET PACKAGE INCLUDES A$1.50 CIGARETTE TAX INCREASE, ASIX SENT PER GALLON ON MOTORFUEL TAXES, MILLIONS OF DOLLARSIN INCENTIVES, AND A 50%INCREASE IN THE GROSS PRODUCTIONTAX TAKING IT FROM 2% TO 3% INTHE FIRST 36 MONTHS.NOW ONE REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER SAYSTHEY ARE PREPARING TO GO INTOOVERTIME.>> WE FEEL LIKE THE NEGOIATIONSWILL CONTINUE AND WE WILL STARTRUNNING SOME LEGISLATIONTOMORROW, BUT IT DEPENDS ONTOMORROW AND WHEN NEGOTIATIONSPICK UP.WE’RE VERY OPTIMISTIC.PATRINA: REPRESENTATIVE JASONDUNNINGTON SAYS HOUSE DEMOCRATSARE PUSHING FOR A 5% GROSSPRODUCTION TAX AND OTHER NEWREVENUE AND THEY WILL BE BACKTOMORROW IN GOOD FAITH TO WORKFOR THE PEOPLE OF OKLAHOMA.