Oklahoma lawmakers struggle to plug gaping budget gap

Feb 15, 2017

Gov. Mary Fallin
Credit KGOU

Oklahoma lawmakers continue to struggle with how to lessen the state's onerous budget shortfall.

As KOSU reports, Oklahoma's budget gap is inching back up toward the billion-dollar mark. Governor Mary Fallin has suggested a dramatic change to the state sales tax to eliminate certain exemptions, in hopes of turning the ship around. She says her long-term goal is to change the tax system to better fit the modern world.

Meanwhile, Representative Leslie Osborn has proposed a $1.50 per-pack increase in the state cigarette tax. Osborn is the Chair of the Appropriations and Budget Committee in Oklahoma. Her cigarette tax increase has a steep climb to become law. Because it’s a tax increase, it would require a 75 percent majority in both houses of the Oklahoma legislature. If accepted, the new cigarette tax would go into effect on September first.