Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee said he is disappointed that Senate leader Mike Morgan and the Senate Democrats have refused to consider a Senate GOP proposal that could prevent a government shutdown from occurring on July 1.
“It is very disappointing that Sen. Morgan and Senate Democrats have refused to consider our proposal to pass a stand-still, stop-gap budget bill to prevent a government shutdown if a final budget agreement is not in place by July 1,” Coffee said.
“Today we are just 17 days away from a government shutdown. A shutdown is becoming a very real possibility because of the continued obstruction by the Senate Democrats,” stated Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “We are very concerned that Senate Democrats may try to force a government shutdown for political gain, just as former President Bill Clinton did to the federal government in 1995.”
A state government shutdown will occur in 17 days, on July 1, if a state budget is not in place before then. But if legislators adopt a stand-still general appropriations bill, the state government can continue to operate at current funding levels until a final budget is in place.
Oklahoma’s Democrat governor and Republican Speaker of the House reached a bipartisan agreement on the budget weeks ago, but Senate Democrats have refused to compromise on the budget.
Senate Democrats began laying the groundwork for a budget crisis months before the end of the regular legislative session by calling for a special session on the budget. Last week a senior Democrat senator announced that Senate Democrats are willing to hold up budget negotiations “until the November elections if necessary.”