(Oklahoma City) Legislative leaders are planning to come back for a one-day special session in September to address two key issues remaining from the regular session that adjourned last month.
Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor and House Speaker Larry Adair want to give lawmakers ample time to research the issues - tax reform and congressional redistricting - before returning to the State Capitol to take formal legislative action.
"I think everyone agrees that these are two very complex issues that need thorough study. By giving legislators the summer to do their homework on them, we will be better prepared to make the best possible decision for the state of Oklahoma in September," said Senator Taylor (D-Claremore).
"With the regular session of the 48th Legislature adjourned, legislators can now direct their attention toward the important issues to be addressed in the special session which will be reconvened after the Labor Day holiday. I am confident that the work of the special session can be accomplished and that an orderly adjournment can take place," said Speaker Adair (D-Stilwell).
It takes a minimum of five legislative days to pass a piece of legislation, but because lawmakers met in special session for four days during the regular session in May, they could wrap up their work in a one-day meeting in September. Although Governor Keating was the state official who called the special session, legislative leaders are responsible for deciding when the session will reconvene.
Both Speaker Adair and Senator Taylor have given the legislators in charge of redrawing U.S. Congressional districts a September 1st deadline for developing a redistricting plan.
The two legislative leaders had hoped to address the tax reform question in regular session, but they are still awaiting a report from researchers at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. Academicians there were asked to develop a plan that would overhaul the state tax code to eliminate the income tax and the sales tax on groceries without reducing funding for vital services. Their final report is expected sometime in June.