OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says she believes a special legislative session is needed to address a $215 million budget shortfall after the state Supreme Court overturned a new $1.50-cent-per-pack fee on cigarettes.
Fallin stopped short of issuing a formal call for a session, but said Wednesday that the departments of Human Services, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and the Health Care Authority would run out of money without legislative action.
A spokesman for Fallin said the governor is still talking with legislative leaders about calling a special session.
The court ruled that the legislation is a tax, despite lawmakers calling it a "fee," and that it is unconstitutional because it passed in the final week of the regular session, when revenue-raising bills are not permitted.