OKLAHOMA CITY (OBV) – The Oklahoma State Legislature has successfully overridden Gov. Kevin Stitt’s veto of a tribal compact extension, and the State Senate voted to override a second tribal compact extension veto.
The State Senate on Monday passed HB 1005X during a special session, officially overriding a Stitt veto that would have required Native American tribes in Oklahoma to re-negotiate vehicle registration compacts.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed HB 1005X in June.
The Senate also approved SB 26X, which extends the tribal nations’ tobacco compacts with the State of Oklahoma for one year.
The governor’s veto on the tobacco compacts extension is still in effect, but will be overridden if the Oklahoma House of Representatives approves SB 26X.
The Senate fell one vote short in late June of the necessary two-thirds majority to override Stitt’s veto of extending the tobacco compacts.
Stitt issued the following statement denouncing the Senate’s votes to override his vetoes:
“Despite real concerns for the future of our state, the Senate has chosen to disregard the Governor’s compact in favor of compact language the tribes wanted. I am trying to protect eastern Oklahoma from turning into a reservation, and I’ve been working to ensure these compacts are the best deal for all four million Oklahomans. Unfortunately, the Senate seems to disagree and used an illegitimate process to do so.”Gov. Kevin Stitt
Tribal leaders, however, praised the votes.
“Today is a great step forward in preserving carefully negotiated compact agreements that have served both Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation well for decades.
The bipartisan supermajority of Senators who voted to extend our tribal-state compacts, overriding the Governor’s veto, also saw this need, and I thank them for their support.
This vote shows once again that the Governor is isolated in his choice of conflict over cooperation with tribes. Cherokee Nation is ready to continue working with any and all good-faith partners in the state who respect our sovereignty.
I urge the Oklahoma House to return swiftly to complete the veto overrides. They can quickly end the troubling uncertainty these vetoes have caused for Oklahoma citizens and businesses.”Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Cherokee Nation
“Despite Gov. Stitt’s attempts to muddy the waters, the Oklahoma Senate did the right thing today by overriding his veto of compacts regarding tobacco sales and motor vehicle tags. These important agreements provide massive benefits for tribes and all Oklahomans, and we thank the Legislature for doing what is right. The Choctaw Nation remains open to negotiating on long-term compacts, and we trust good-faith discussions will start soon.
All Oklahomans benefit from fair agreements between tribes and state government, and we look forward to continuing our partnerships.”Chief Gary Batton, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma