Oklahoma House of Representatives, Office of the Speaker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2017

STATEMENT: House Will Recess Until a Budget Agreement is Reached

OKLAHOMA CITY –House Speaker Charles McCall today announced the House will recess to the call of the chair to allow the Legislature and governor to continue negotiating a plan to address the budget without wasting additional taxpayer dollars.

“It is clear that House Democrats continue to play politics and do not intend to vote in support of the cigarette tax to address the budget hole created when the Supreme Court struck down the cigarette fee. The Court was clear that the Legislature must pass the tax with a 75 percent majority vote. House Republicans stand ready to deliver 75 percent of our caucus to pass the cigarette tax, but House Democrats have so far given no indication that they are willing to deliver 75 percent of their caucus so we can pass the tax and use other resources to fill the hole. The cigarette fee is what the Court struck down, so the first priority is to address that by passing the cigarette tax.

“House Republicans do have a plan to address the hole without House Democrats, but we will need the support of the governor and the Senate, who we have continued to negotiate with this week. While we are closer to an agreement, we are not going to waste $30,000 a day negotiating. We pledge to continue negotiating in good faith with the governor and Senate, but we are going to do that off the clock. When there is an agreement in place, we will return and take care of the people’s business.”