Confronting a Newly Created $214 Million Budget Deficit at the State Capitol
Last week's Oklahoma Supreme Court decision invalidating the State Legislature's cigarette cessation fee means that there's now a $214 million budget deficit in this year's budget. This gives Oklahoma lawmakers two options: go back into special session to fix the state budget, or else three state agencies -- the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services -- will have to rewrite their budgets to account for a roughly $70 million cut to each agency. So, what will state lawmakers do? We put this question (and others) to our guest today, David Blatt, who's the executive director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute.