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Lt. Gov. Lamb resigns from Gov. Fallin's cabinet

Tim Farley / Red Dirt Report
Lt. Governor Todd Lamb.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb resigned as part of Gov. Mary Fallin’s cabinet Thursday over what he said was his inability to support her proposals to increase taxes.

Lamb resigned as the state’s Small Business Advocate, but the resignation does not affect Lamb’s role as Lt. Governor.

"[Lamb's] decision to resign was made after yesterday's cabinet meeting in which Gov. Fallin maintained her support for taxing 164 services affecting every Oklahoma small business and family," Lamb's Chief of Staff Keith Beall wrote in a news release.

Lamb said he felt the governor needed cabinet members who would support her agenda.

"While I respect the determination with which Governor Fallin met her obligation to present a balanced budget to the Legislature, I cannot support her proposed tax increases," Lamb wrote. "This proposal will adversely harm Oklahoma's small businesses and families, especially those in our service industry. While Gov. Fallin and I have disagreed on issues from time to time, our differences on this important topic are so significant they preclude me from continuing to serve on her cabinet.”

Lamb is expected to run as a Republican candidate for governor next year when Fallin's last term ends. If elected, he will inherit a struggling budget from Fallin, as Oklahoma faces yet another deficit for 2018 of an estimated $868 million, due to low oil prices, tax cuts and corporate tax credits which have strained the state's finances.

In December, Fallin said the state would face a $600 million deficit in the 2018 fiscal budget, but Finance Secretary Preston Doerflinger said the shortfall would be closer to $900 million.

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