OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Oklahoma Senate has failed to override Governor Kevin Stitt’s veto of Senate Bill 26 in a session held on Monday, June 26.
Senate Bill 26 would have extended the Tribal Compacts Tobacco Product Sales Tax until December 31, 2024. The extension would have allowed Oklahoma to continue to receive a share of sales tax on tobacco products sold by tribal entities.
Without a compact in place, tribes have no obligation to send any tax revenue back to the state.
The Oklahoma legislative process requires both the senate and the house to obtain a two thirds vote to override a veto. The senate was one vote shy of veto override for SB 26, with a vote of 31 Ayes to 8 Nays.
Another bill on the agenda at the senate session was HB 1005. This bill extended the Tribal compacts on Motor Vehicle Licensing and Registration until December 31, 2024.
HB 1005 had already obtained a veto override vote in the house body, but the senate did not take up the bill at the June 26 session. It is possible that the bill will be considered in the senate in July.
Governor Stitt released a statement regarding the SB-26 veto override failure, stating;
“I am pleased by the Senate’s vote to sustain my veto of the Tobacco Compact extension and I believe that today’s outcome underscores the state’s commitment to negotiating compacts in good faith that are beneficial to all parties involved. My original compact offer—to extend the compacts previously negotiated and entered by Oklahoma’s Governor and tribal counterparts—is still on the table for each tribe that has reached out and remains available to those that have not yet. I look forward to continuing to work with them to reach an agreement.”
Prominent leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma including Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton, and Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill released statements on the June 26 session.
Chief Hill released the following on HB 1005, stating;
“It’s unfortunate, but to echo some of Senator Treat’s comments, we believe that the votes will be there when this is brought up again during the extended special session. It’s simply more political gamesmanship and unnecessary divisiveness from the Governor. We remain hopeful that at some point we can reach good faith government-to-government relations.”
The Oklahoma Legislature Extraordinary Session has been extended to July 31. State lawmakers will have until then to vote on overriding the Governor’s veto on HB 1005.