Tribal Gaming Expansion Plan Stalls Oklahoma Budget Talks
By SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A major expansion of tribal gambling in Oklahoma — to include roulette and dice games — that House Democrats wanted in exchange for votes on a cigarette tax apparently derailed budget negotiations on Monday in the Legislature.
House Democrats and Senate Republicans held dueling press conferences to blame each other for stalling an agreement on a broad budget plan to help close an $878 million budget gap.
Republicans hold super majorities in both legislative chambers, but not enough in the 101-member House to pass a tax increase, which requires a three-fourths vote, without help from some of the chamber’s 26 Democrats.
House Democratic leader Rep. Scott Inman has withheld support for a cigarette tax hike in an effort to bolster Democrats’ role in budget negotiations.