Last week marked the first week of Oklahoma’s special legislative session, which was convened by Governor Mary Fallin to allow lawmakers to deal with business left unfinished during the regular session.
As Oklahoma Watch reports, the session’s main goal is plugging the $215 million budget shortfall left by the collapse of a plan for raising tobacco fees. The major development last week was the advancement of a bill that appears to have been written, not by Oklahoma lawmakers, but by an out-of-state conservative group.
The bill would make the process by which Oklahomans obtain Medicaid more difficult, thus causing many low-income Oklahomans to lose health coverage and therefore easing the state budget. The bill passed the House Rules Committee on a vote of 6-3.
The legislation is known as the Restore Hope, Opportunity and Prosperity for Everyone (or HOPE) Act.