Lawmakers don't see a solution in second special session
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
In ten days, lawmakers will go back to Oklahoma City to try and figure out a budget solution in the legislature’s second special session.
It comes the week before Christmas, and lawmakers aren’t too happy about it.
Some lawmakers we spoke to Friday are fed up with partisan politics at the Capitol. But others think the governor set the date through the holidays to make it hurt as much as possible.
We have a standoff at the statehouse. Lawmakers are returning on Dec. 18 to try and hammer out another budget bill.
“It’s incredibly frustrating,” says Democratic Representative Meloyde Blancett. “Not just in terms of the lack of movement. It’s frustrating because of the lack of conversation.”
Blancett ran for the House because she was fed up.
“I don’t mind going back,” she says. “As long as we have something to go back to.”
She doesn’t see it.
“If we go back without a plan again,” Blancett says. “It’s going to be the same thing except we haven’t done anything to change it.”
Republican Senator Nathan Dahm blames the governor.
“It would appear that she’s trying to call us in right before Christmas,” he says. “To make it as painful as possible to keep us away from time with our families.”
Dahm says Governor Fallin promised to sign the latest budget failure, but vetoed most if it when it got to her desk.
“If Governor Fallin had kept her word and signed the budget agreement that all sides agreed to,” he says. “The House and Senate and the executive branch agreed to it, we wouldn’t be in this predicament.”
“She never said that,” says Blancett. “She said she would veto any bill that did not adequately fund core government services. And in my opinion that’s exactly what she did.”
Dahm believes the bill did exactly what the governor asked.
“Making sure that the most needy members of society were taken care of, that their programs were not going to be cut,” Dahm says. “And we did that. We accomplished that.”
When faced with the possibility of another extended special session, potentially bleeding into the regular session?
“That’s always a possibility,” Dahm says. “The last special session lasted eight weeks. So if we start here in mid-December, we could go into mid-February.”
“Oh, gosh I hope not, it can’t,” says Blancett. “If that does, that’s a signal that we have some very serious problems and we need to start getting people out of office.”