Republicans, Democrats can’t agree on fix for state budget crisis

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OKLAHOMA CITY - HB 2365 would raise taxes on cigarettes and gasoline.

It was supposed to be heard on the house floor Wednesday but ended up getting pulled.

Democrats say they will vote against it.

"The state problems don't exist because cigarettes are too cheap. The state problems exist because the oil and gas industry get the cheapest oil and gas production rates of any state in the nation," said House Minority Leader, Scott Inman.  "We will not vote to raise taxes on the back of middle class families to balance this budget at the same time that the Republican majority lets the oil and gas companies off the hook."

"We are not making progress fast enough to solve our budget shortfall," said Governor Mary Fallin at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Fallin called out lawmakers for not having sent any revenue raising measures to her desk with only 12 days left in the session to do so.

"Now I don't want to hear anymore of this at the Capitol, 'Well, I'm not going to vote for that because you won't vote for this.' Or 'I'm going to hold up my group to lock up as a group, to vote against this because I want you to swap out your vote for that,'" said Fallin.

But Democrats say they are opposed to the gas tax and they won't even talk about the cigarette tax until republicans talk about raising the gross production tax on oil and gas companies.

"They'd rather raise taxes on middle-class families who drive to work every day than raise taxes on the oil and gas industry.  If they truly believe it that all options are on the table, then by God put the gross production tax on the table," said Rep. Inman.

The lack of agreement could mean a special session for our state.

"I willing to veto the budget. I'm willing to stay as long as we need to until we get our job done," said Governor Fallin.

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