- By Native News Online Staff
OKLAHOMA CITY — On Monday July 31, the Oklahoma House of Representatives preserved an extension on existing tribal compacts regarding tribal tobacco revenues through December 2024, overriding an attempted veto by Republican Governor Kevin Stitt.
Stitt’s veto came after Oklahoma legislators passed a bill, HB1005, to extend existing compacts during negotiations with tribes on amendments and renewal of said compacts, per prior Native News Online reporting.
Oklahoma legislators took immediate exception to Stitt’s veto, threatening to take Stitt’s place in compact negotiations as a result of “bad faith” negotiations.
An initial attempt to override the veto in the House, which requires a two-thirds majority for an override, failed in late June. Subsequently, the Oklahoma Senate rallied to pass the override and sent the bill back to the House for a vote Monday, where it passed 74-11.
House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said the override was necessary to avoid “harmful effects on the state budget and facilitate further conversations regarding the compacts,” per an Oklahoma House of Representatives statement.
“Extending the compacts in their current form while tribal and state leaders consider any alternative agreements is our best option to keep this important revenue stream available and avoid potentially harmful effects on the state budget,” McCall said in the statement. “Recently, a number of conversations between state and tribal leaders regarding the compacts have taken place, sparked in large part due to the introduction of these compact bills in their original form. The House, in passing this legislation, is exercising their proper authority in the compacting process and we look forward to continued conversations until a new long-term deal is struck."
HB1005 now returns to the Senate for final passage.
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