OKLAHOMA CITY - After a turbulent week at the state capitol surrounding the budget, Saturday proved to be another fruitless day.
For those who showed up, it was quick.
“We obviously just gaveled on and gaveled out today because of the failure of the House yesterday on the revenue package, and the teacher pay, and the state employee pay," said Senator Greg Treat. “I was reading the scripture this morning, and in Matthew 5:37 it says and you’re no be a no. Anything else is evil.”
House members told us they expected a budget to pass yesterday and it was on the agenda to meet Saturday. But since Friday ended in a standstill, Saturday's quick session was about saving money. And the senate agrees.
“We told our members today to not show up because we weren’t going to have any votes and we wanted them to spend some time with their family," said Senator Treat. "Plus, we didn’t want to cost the taxpayers money if we were just gaveling in and gaveling out.”
Educators were also present at the state capitol. With flyers in their hands, they, too, voiced their frustrations.
“I think everybody is torn and I get that," said Alicia Priest with the Oklahoma Education Association. "But the reality is our students are suffering in the classroom with higher class sizes, mental health is facing catastrophic cuts, you know, nursing homes. We all work together.”
But working together at this point, some say, is overly ambitious.
“We saw people present resolutions on social media to a comic convention and not show up and vote in committee," said Senator Treat. "I, quite frankly, like many Oklahomans, I’m disgusted.”
Lawmakers will return on Monday.