Staff and Wire Reports
OKLAHOMA CITY -- After Gov. Mary Fallin's State of the State address Monday, the focus quickly turned to the governor's budget.
"The governor is required to submit a balanced budget. She's required by the Constitution to do that. She's completed this exercise. This is a conversation starter on how to do it," said Secretary of State Glenn Coffee.
For openers, Gov. Fallin wants 3 percent budget cuts for public safety, education, and human services, and 5 percents cuts at other agencies. She also wants a freeze on capital projects for the rest of the fiscal year, which save about $50 million. Reducing IT projects would save another $142 million. Plus a $100 million transfer from ODOT for other critical needs. ODOT would issue $100 million in bonds instead.
House Democrats are both encouraged and concerned by the governor's proposals. Fallin also wants to consider closing a unit at the state penitentiary.
"It seems as if a great number of people in our state are now in danger of losing their rights as citizens," said House Minority Leader Scott Inman.
Also when it comes to the sale of beer, Fallin said the state can gain about $5 million by taxing beer at the wholesale level instead of the resale level.
Below is a list of spending proposals in Gov. Mary Fallin's executive budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1:
--State Department of Education; $2.3 billion or $68.5 million less than last year, a 2.9 percent cut.
--Regents for Higher Education; about $974 million or $30.1 million less than last year, a 3 percent cut.
--Oklahoma Health Care Authority; $948.6 million or $14.3 million less than last year, a 1.5 percent cut.
--Department of Human Services; $526.8 million or about $16.3 million less than last year, a 3 percent cut.
--Department of Corrections; $450.1 million or $12 million less than last year, a 2.6 percent cut.
--Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse; $187 million or $590,000 less than last year, a 0.3 percent cut.
--Office of Juvenile Affairs; about $96.2 percent or about $3 million less than last year, a 3 percent cut.
--Department of Public Safety; $85.7 million or $2.6 million less than last year, a 3 percent cut
--Council for Law Enforcement and Education and Training; $2.5 million or more than $1.3 million less than last year, a 35.1 percent cut.
--Pardon and Parole Board; almost $1.8 million or $556,000 less than last year, a 23.8 percent cut.
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