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Oklahoma Senate leader raises questions, wants Gov. Stitt to appear before committee

Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and Gov. Kevin Stitt shake hands after the State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2023.
Abi Ruth Martin
Oklahoma Legislative Service Bureau
Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and Gov. Kevin Stitt shake hands after the State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2023.

State Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat talked to members of the press on Wednesday about Gov. Kevin Stitt's request for yet another special session.

Treat said he looks forward to hearing from Stitt about proposals on tax cuts and increasing budget transparency.

But, he said his chamber cannot act on Stitt's requests until they have specific details. To that end, Treat called on the governor to appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the first day of the special session.

Treat also addressed Stitt’s desire for a trigger law that would mandate if a state or federal court finds a person doesn’t have to pay a state tax because of their race, heritage or political classification, then no Oklahoman has to pay that tax.

Stitt is alluding to a case currently before the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which would exempt tribal citizens from paying state income taxes if they live and work within their own reservation.

Treat said he estimates that would cost the state $4 billion, and wants to know the governor's plan to make up that funding, if that does happen.

"Which schools is he going to close? Which public safety programs are we going to cancel? Are the tax credits that we just passed for school choice — are we going to have to rescind some of those?," Treat asked. "And if he's not wanting to cut anything, we need answers before that committee of what taxes he seeks to increase."

Treat says if the Oklahoma Supreme Court case on state income taxes were decided in favor of the plaintiff, he would be open to compacting with the tribal nations on this issue.

The special session will gavel in on Oct. 3.

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Allison Herrera covered Indigenous Affairs for KOSU from April 2020 to November 2023.
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