Oklahoma Sees $612 Million Revenue Increase

Wednesday, December 19th 2018, 5:43 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

After years of budget deficits and massive cuts to state agencies and services, the state is finally is a good spot financially.

"It's more fiscally sound as a budget.  On stable footing for the future.  Better foundation.” Said Governor Marry Fallin,  “There's no one time funds in this budget where we're playing little games, switching money around."

Governor Fallin and the state board of equalization met Wednesday to certify the state’s revenues for fiscal year 2020.  And it looks good.  We’re expecting $612 million in additional revenue, and we are expected to have about $870 million in the rainy day fund. 

"I'm very proud of all the work the legislature did, the changes structurally. The budget is on sound footing." Fallin said.

State Auditor Gary Jones said, "We're not dealing with one time funds, we're not playing accounting tricks. We're dealing with real dollars."

In addition to legislative changes, the booming US economy and higher oil prices can be credited for the windfall. 

Governor-elect Kevin Stitt says this is good news, "But I also want to warn the legislators and the agency heads.  This is not a blank check.  This is not something that you can just come in and say hey how can we fund our different pet projects?"

Stitt says the $870 million projected to be in the rainy-day fund is a good start, but, "We live from boom to bust cycles.  We need about $2 billion in our rainy day funds to not have to cut core services so that's my goal is to get that up to 2 billion."

Fallin says she’s pleased with the numbers. "$870 million in the rainy day fund.  Come a long way from that two dollars and 31-cents we had when I came into office so."

These are just preliminary figures and could change as the economy and oil prices change. We should have a better handle on the exact amount state lawmakers will have to spend in February. 

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