BREAKING: Fallin plans to call special session to begin September 25

eCapitol News

Author: Shawn Ashley
Date: 09/06/2017

(eCap) Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday she will call a special session to begin Sept. 25 “to adjust the current fiscal year” budget.

“I am planning on calling a special session beginning September 25 for legislators to adjust the current fiscal year budget. A formal call for a special session will be issued in the next few days, but I wanted to announce my intention to call a special session for planning purposes,” Fallin said in a statement. “I also want Oklahomans to know we are working diligently to address the fiscal matters of our state.”

An Aug. 10 Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling struck down a tobacco cessation fee that was scheduled to take effect Aug. 25. It would have raised approximately $215 million for fiscal year 2018, the current fiscal year.

The bulk of the revenue from that fee would have gone to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. Without that revenue, Fallin said the agencies will run out of state appropriated by the middle of the fiscal year.

Fallin noted Wednesday the $215 million represents just state funds. With the loss of matching federal funds state agencies estimate the total is nearly $500 million.

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