Legislature Override Governor’s Vetos
Mike Seals - May 13, 2020 10:55 pm
Both chambers of the Oklahoma legislature Wednesday overrode a veto from Gov. Kevin Stitt from earlier in the day, giving the state an approved budget for FY 2021.
The House voted 79-20 to override Stitt’s veto of SB1922, hours after Oklahoma senators trumped the governor by a vote of 35-11. That override came less than an hour after Gov. Kevin Stitt vetoed the legislature’s proposed budget, and that veto was on top of three earlier in the day on bills intended by legislators to fill a $1.4B budget gap.
“This budget was created behind closed doors, without meaningful input or consultation from the executive branch,” Stitt said in a statement emailed to News 9.
He added: “This proposed budget does not reflect the values of Oklahoma or the clear directive voters gave elected officials at the ballot box of living within our means and making hard decisions when times get tough. Instead, Senate Bill 1922 reflects misguided policies that conservative Republicans have spent the past decade reversing. It is propped up with one-time funds that will not be available for Fiscal Year 2022. As Governor, I was elected to manage the executive branch, which includes managing expenses and right-sizing agencies. This budget is going to back the state into a financial corner, which leaves us with very few options in FY 2022 – we will either have to raise taxes or implement draconian cuts. As Governor I am here to protect the taxpayer, not harm them.”
The governor’s other three vetoes Wednesday were on HB2741, HB2742 and HB2743, the first two of which dip into pension systems to help fund the budget. HB2743 would have removed money from the roads and bridges fund to help with the budget.
Both chambers voted to override the governor’s vetoes on those bills as well.