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Asher Notheis, Breaking News Reporter


NextImg:Oklahoma governor uses veto power to pick fight with state lawmakers

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) is playing hardball with state lawmakers, vetoing multiple bills as he tries to get lawmakers to act on legislation for school choice and tax cuts.

Stitt's refusal to sign legislation unrelated to the two topics he is focused on comes as he vetoed 20 Senate bills over the past week. Every veto he gave came with a warning that he will continue to veto legislation until both the House and the Senate agree on school choice and tax cuts.

WHITMER SIGNS FIVE BILLS, ONE TAX BREAK

"Until we get tax cuts, until we get parent choice done, we are not going to do all this other stuff for lobbyists and special interest groups," said Stitt at a news conference. "Let's get those things done and then we will be happy to talk about some other things in the budget."

FILE - Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt delivers his State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)


There are two bills that Stitt is not a fan of: House Bill 1934 and House Bill 1935. The governor does not approve of how both bills cap the number of tax credits, with the former bill capping the credits at $150 million for the first year, and increasing the cap in later years, and the latter bill capping the credits at $200 million for tax year 2023 and removing the cap by tax year 2025.

In response to Stitt's refusal to budge, Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat claimed that the chamber "will not be bullied" over the governor's actions, according to the Center Square.

"Bullying does not work in this building," said Treat. "The Senate has been bullied or attempted to be bullied throughout this entire session, both from our counterparts across the rotunda when they stood up on week two and said, 'nothing can be changed in these two bills that would be acceptable.'"

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Amid the debacle between the governor and the House and the Senate, Stitt claims that the two chambers are talking and that he is "very optimistic that we're going to land the plane."

On April 21, Stitt unveiled the Oklahoma Education and Parental Choice Plan, which calls for investing a total of $800 million in education. In his unveiling, Stitt stated he believes his proposal is "the best path forward to get education reform done this year."