House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, talks about income tax cuts during a press conference Tuesday at the Oklahoma State Capitol. (Photo by Kyle Phillips/For Oklahoma Voice)
OKLAHOMA CITY — House Republicans will continue to push for tax cuts even though the Senate adjourned a special legislative session without taking action on the issue, Oklahoma’s House speaker said Wednesday.
Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said he was disappointed the Senate abruptly adjourned the special session on Tuesday without passing any legislation and without first giving a heads up to their colleagues across the Capitol.
“I want to make it very clear to the people of the state of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma House of Representatives will continue to fight for them to address the inflation that they continue to experience,” McCall said in a news conference.
In calling for a special session, Stitt directed the Oklahoma Legislature to put the state on the path toward eliminating personal income taxes. He gave more specifics on Tuesday and said he wanted lawmakers to advance a 0.25% income tax cut.
McCall backed the proposed cut.
He also touted the slew of tax cut proposals the House has advanced in previous sessions and said he’s going to attempt to work with his counterparts in the Senate to reach an agreement on this issue.
McCall urged the Senate to put an income tax cut up for a vote so the public would know where the chamber stands.
For now, the House will not adjourn the special session. But in an effort to avoid racking up additional costs, lawmakers will return to their districts until they’re needed at the Capitol, McCall said.
“We think that’s just a sign of throwing in the towel and giving up. If the Senate wants to do that, that’s their prerogative to do it. We’re not ready to do that,” he said of the Senate adjourning.
But without the Senate, the House can’t advance any legislation to the governor’s desk.
Stitt could call another special session to force senators to return to the Capitol.
Should that happen, Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said he would expect Stitt to appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee to answer questions about his tax cut proposals. Stitt refused an invitation to appear before the committee on Tuesday.
House Minority Leader Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, said the special session was unproductive and wasteful.
“My hope is that the partisan pandering and insistent infighting of the Republican supermajority will calm down so we can focus on the actual needs of all Oklahomans and return to the State Capitol during the regular session with a bipartisan plan to address real tax relief,” she said in a statement.
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