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Oklahoma House, Senate convene special session

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Posted at 3:01 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 16:01:57-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Latest on a special session of the Oklahoma Legislature to patch a $215 million hole in the state budget (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

The Oklahoma House and Senate have convened for a special legislative session to find a way to patch an estimated $215 million hole in the state budget.

Both chambers of the Legislature met at 1:30 p.m. Monday for a session that could last at least two weeks. It is the first special session since 2013.

The Senate on Monday unveiled its plan to shore up the state budget through a combination of a cigarette tax, motor fuel tax and the elimination of a sales tax exemption for the wind industry. But all sides have not reached a deal on a broad budget deal.

Republican House leaders have said they'll support a cigarette tax, but House Speaker Charles McCall says his members are opposed to further tax increases.

7:30 a.m.

Oklahoma lawmakers are returning to Oklahoma City for the start of a special legislative session to address a $215 million shortfall in the state budget.

Members of the House and Senate are to convene Monday for a session expected to last up to two weeks.

Gov. Mary Fallin called the session after the state Supreme Court overturned a $1.50-per-pack "fee" on cigarettes as unconstitutional.

Republican leaders have said the cigarette tax is the clearest path to addressing the shortfall, but don't have enough votes in the House to pass the tax without support from Democrats.

House Democratic Leader Scott Inman, who's running for governor, says many House Democrats likely would support the cigarette tax increase as part of a package that includes raising the gross production tax on oil and gas production.

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