Oklahoma GOP Leaders Disagree with Stitt over Compacts

Apr 23, 2020

In a joint letter, House Speaker Charles McCall (left) and Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat told Gov. Kevin Stitt his new gaming compacts with two tribes are "legally flawed."

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt overstepped his authority when he signed gambling compacts with two Native American tribes this week, House and Senate GOP leaders said in a joint letter to the governor on Wednesday.

House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat said the governor’s inclusion of sports betting is one of several flaws they found in their review of the compacts.

“Sadly, the documents signed yesterday are legally flawed and sow more division than unity,” the two leaders wrote.

Stitt announced the new compacts Tuesday between the state and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and the Comanche Nation. The compacts still must be approved by the U.S. Interior Department, and McCall and Treat asked the governor to refrain from submitting them, saying it would be “untimely, inappropriate and a waste of resources.”

Oklahoma’s Attorney General Mike Hunter said Tuesday he also believes the compacts are unlawful.

A spokeswoman for the governor’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The disagreement is the latest indication of a deteriorating relationship between the Republican governor and the GOP-controlled Legislature. McCall and Treat sued the governor last week after a dispute over funding Stitt wanted for a state computer system upgrade.