House Passes Funding Bills

Tuesday, October 31st 2017, 6:41 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a series of bills this week to help bridge the state’s $215 million budget shortfall. But representatives did it without first talking with their colleagues in the Senate.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed bills to dip into the Rainy Day Fund and reserve funds to keep the state's three major healthcare agencies running for the next few months. The plan still has to pass in the Senate, but House leaders didn’t bother talking with Senate leaders before passing the bills.

“It does seem odd. It’s not out of character though,” said Senator Greg Treat (R) Majority Floor Leader. “If you see what I have thought of in the past few days on the house actions, their agreements with us seem to mean nothing.”

Senator Ron Sharp (R) District 17 added, “They change things on a minute-by-minute basis and we’re going to have to wait to see.”

The House plan would fill about half of the state’s $215 million budget shortfall. Representatives also plan to raise the taxes on existing oil wells to raise another $40 million. The remaining $60 million would be reached through cuts. The house was scheduled to meet in committee today, but after postponing the meeting three times it was cancelled.