Republican leaders in Oklahoma say that Governor Kevin Stitt's posture toward Native American tribes is costing the state money and are considering pushing him out of tribal negotiations altogether.
The agreements between the state and tribes, called compacts, include division of revenue from gambling, vehicle tags and the sale of tobacco and motor fuel on tribal land. The Oklahoma Senate plans to return for a special session today to override Stitt's vetoes of bills that would extend compacts on tobacco and motor vehicles. Stitt's relationship with many tribal leaders has deteriorated since he tried unsuccessfully to rework gambling contracts in his first term. This year, Stitt, himself a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, responded by vetoing many legislative measures endorsed by the tribes. Stitt says he is trying to negotiate the best deal for all of the state's more than 4 million residents, particularly when it comes to the tobacco compacts.