Oklahoma roads, your car, and the special session - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Oklahoma roads, your car, and the special session

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ARDMORE, Okla. -- Four months ago, Oklahoma lawmakers adopted a $1.50 fee on packs of cigarettes to try and repair a state budget shortfall.

That fee was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

So on Monday, legislators returned to the State Capitol for a special session to address nagging budget issues that have shorted Oklahoma agencies for the last three years.

Education, health care, and -- as time goes on -- roads and bridges continue to deteriorate as repairs and maintenance are deferred.

Carter County District 3 Commissioner Jerry Alvord said reduced funding is starting to hinder the county's ability to serve residents.

"As of the last three or four years, they have continuously taken from roads and bridges," he said. "We are hoping that they will find a different answer this time."

Car repair shop

Bad roads can also have a direct impact on your wallet.

"Bad roads, holes, chug holes, potholes... it takes the smallest of a pothole to knock a car out of alignment," said Rusty Smith, manager at Discount Wheel and Tire. "People either bust a tire or knock their car out of alignment, and we ask them what they hit, and they say, 'Oh, this small hole.' But the roads around these counties are horrible."

Alvord said Carter County is doing the best it can with with the available funding.

"It always comes down to money," he said. "As distasteful as that is, that's what it amounts to."

The special session is expected to cost around $30,000 per day. Gov. Mary Fallin has not set an ending date, adding that she's prepared to veto any proposal to cut funding.

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