Republican Caucus Wants Special Session Sooner Than Later

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate Republican Caucus has asked Gov. Brad Henry to call the Legislature into special session in December, rather than January as the governor proposed.

“It’s very clear that more reductions in spending are inevitable,” said Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee. “Agency heads are awaiting our direction as to how much their budgets will be reduced.

“We believe it is prudent, given the fiscal crisis facing all state agencies, to come in, examine the numbers as an entire body, and make the hard decisions sooner rather than later,” he continued.  “We have a good feel for the direction revenues are heading, so why wait any longer?”

The Senate Appropriations subcommittees have been meeting over the past weeks with agency heads to project how various cuts – from five percent to 10 percent – would impact their departments.

“Agency heads are willing to make the tough calls,” Coffee said.  “They just need to know when and how much.  It’s not a pleasant task, but we all understand the reality of the times in which we’re operating.”

 Under the Oklahoma Constitution, the Governor can call a special meeting of the State Equalization Board, who would declare a budget failure, at which time the Governor could call a Special Session of the Legislature.