Legislature heads into last day of session with budget not settled

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The House of Representatives will have to vote on the budget bill on the last day of the session.

And, some members of the House are expressing concern over the measure.

"This budget is not built on real dollars. This budget is on shaky constitutional ground. And, this legislature needs to stop playing fast and loose with the rules that the people of Oklahoma have set forward for us," said Representative Jason Dunnington (D) District 88.

Dunnington said he plans to vote no on the budget bill Friday, saying some of the money in it simply doesn't exist.

"We're about to pass a budget moving forward that's based on money that's not currently in it. And, that's a big problem," Dunnington said.

Dunnington said the legislature should be going into special session instead of trying to rush this through.

"Our members know that this budget won't hold. But, many of them feel like that there's too much pressure in order to go to a special session instead of do what's right and pass a budget that will hold for the year," Dunnington said.

And, several groups have already indicated they will sue if certain measures get signed into law.

One is a DUI law.

"There's several unconstitutional provisions in this that I assure you we will take to the court," said DUI attorney Charles Sifers.

And, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs has issues with the bill limiting itemized deductions.

"We do intend to probably be filing a challenge with the state Supreme Court that that's a violation of state question 640," said Dave Bond, Vice President for Advocacy with the OCPA.

Some said, if the budget passes this year as is, it will guarantee a revenue failure next year.

"We have waited too long to do this process, and the public is going to pay the price and it's really embarrassing," Dunnington said.

The House will vote on Friday on the budget and the cigarette fee that's already passed out of the Senate.

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