Oklahoma House Overrides Governor’s Veto on Tribal Compact Bill in Special Session

KOKH - June 13, 2023 6:32 am

Oklahoma House(KOKH)

The House of Representatives is back in the chamber for special session to override the Governor’s veto of a tribal compact bill.

With bipartisan support and a few Republican against, the House overrode the veto with a vote of 74-11.

This was a vote many of the tribes were hoping for after the controversial decision from the Governor.

Floor Leader Jon Echols, (R)-OKC, made the motion that the motor vehicle compact bill, HB1005x, becomes law.

“Majority of the legislature thinks it makes sense to extend these compacts for one year, and that’s what it is,” Rep. Echols said. “It’s one year to work with our tribal partners and come up with long term solution.”

Governor Stitt is not willing to wait for a solution. His veto message calls out extending the current motor vehicle licensing compact, claiming the bill doesn’t take into account whether the decade old compact is a fair deal for the state.

On the other hand, Rep. Echols is concerned the state could lose a substantial amount of revenue if the compacts aren’t renewed.

“If we do not have compacts, tribal nations are still allowed to have tribal tags and they don’t have to pay anything to the state of Oklahoma. What we’ve done is create a compact so they can use those tags statewide, but they can also pay some funds into the state of Oklahoma,” Rep. Echols said.

This is a policy dispute the tribes haven’t taken lightly. The veto message was followed by accusations from the Choctaw and Cherokee Nations saying the Governor is being “hostile.”

Rep. Echols doesn’t echo those claims, adamant that there’s no fight between the legislature and the Governor.

He believes this is the legislature exercising their authority to do what’s best for Oklahomans.

“Since I have been in the legislature, dealing with our tribal partners has been great,” Rep. Echols said. “We’ve always been able to come up with agreements that are best for the citizens of the state of Oklahoma, all the citizens of the state of Oklahoma, and I still think we’ll be able to do that.”

The bill will also need a Senate veto override to become law, and the Senate will be meeting in two weeks to vote.



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