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Oklahoma Special Session Likely After State Supreme Court Ruling
Monday, August 14, 2017 7:00 AM

The Oklahoma State Supreme Court has ruled a key provision of the state budget passed in the waning hours of this year's legislative session to be unconstitutional. At issue is a "tobacco cessation fee" projected to generate $200 million in state revenue. 

During this year's session, budget writers were unable to garner the two-thirds majority necessary to pass any type of tax increase. With only days remaining to produce a constitutionally mandated balanced budget, the appropriations bill was amended to strike the word "tax" and replace it with "fee," thereby requiring only a simple majority for passage. In a unanimous decision, the court ruled the game of semantics did not pass constitutional muster.

The state has one week to file an appeal. If the ruling is upheld, lawmakers will be forced to return to the Capitol and look for revenue-raising alternatives.

For more information, please contact Oklahoma Credit Union Association President Nate Webb at nwebb@okcua.coop or 405-445-1510.