In this week’s News9 Capitol Report, journalist Pat McGuigan reviewed legal arguments presented against state revenue-raising measures enacted in the recent legislative session. Oklahoma City lawyer Jerry Fent, whose challenges to state laws are successful about one-third of the time, has entered the fray, asking the state Supreme Court to slap down roughly $343 million in fee or tax hikes.
Already in the fray is Republican gubernatorial candidate Gary Richardson, known for legal ability as an Assistant U.S. Attorney who gained convictions in the County Commissioner corruption scandals. Stan Ward is serving as Richardson’s counsel to argue against the new laws on August 8. The central contention if the laws were passed with less than a super-majority required in the state constitution, and/or too late in the session.
Also under scrutiny is a new fee on tobacco sales, which McGuigan believes might be the most legally vulnerable of the measures. McGuigan told reporter Alex Cameron that if two or more of the laws are stricken by the High Court, a special session of the Legislature is likely. In other news, McGuigan praised his friend Brenda Jones Barwick, who is among 11 individuals or persons named in a new group of “Global Citizens” being honored September 9 in Oklahoma City.
The CapitolBeatOK editor plans further reporting on recognition for that group and for the “Big Three” award winners touted at the fall banquet: Chickasaw leader Bill Anoatubby, the Whitten-Newman Family Foundation and banker Mary Pointer Blankenship.