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.