New OK Budget Proposal Seeks To Restore Funding To Education, DHS, DOC


Wednesday, April 13th 2016, 2:16 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck


Gov. Mary Fallin detailed her plan for bridging the state’s $1.3 billion budget shortfall Wednesday. 

The plan is really a combination of increasing taxes by eliminating tax exemptions and credits, shifting cash around and borrowing money.  The result will be no cuts to critical programs like education and healthcare, but it also puts the state deeper in debt.

“We will get through this. We’ve been through this before,” Fallin told reporters. 

Her plan includes:

Transportation Reform:  $502.7 Million

*Capping ROADS at the current level until fiscal year 2019 and borrowing the difference:  $52 million annually in FY 2017 and FY 2018

*Bonding in FY 2017 $450 million to keep current infrastructure plans intact.

Tax Reform:  $238.9 Million

*Eliminating sales tax exemptions to increase revenues by $106.5 million

*Eliminating personal income tax double deduction to increase revenues by $28.8 million

*Making earned income tax nonrefundable, increasing revenues by $28.2 million

*Reconciliation of income tax withheld bring in an additional $4.5 million

*Eliminate Coal Credit increasing revenues by $1.75 million

Apportionment Reform:  $177 Million

*Apportionment equity:  $113.4 million

*Eliminate Tourism Apportionments:  $22 million

*Eliminate Historical Society apportionments:  $1.5 million

*Cap gasoline tax apportionments at FY 2013 levels:  $5 million

*Cap diesel tax apportionments at FY 13 levels:  $3.4 million

*Cap motor vehicle tax apportionments at FY 2013 levels:  $26.5 million

*Cap cigarette tax apportionments at FY 2013 levels:  $5.2 million

Government Accounting Reform:  $333 million

*Cash flow reserve fund reform:  $125 million

*Nonappropriated agency 10% revenue sharing:  $83.3 million

*Automated revolving fund reconciliation:  $125 million

That money, the governor said, could be used to restore education to its current funding levels. 

“We want to fund education at the appropriate levels," she said. "It is unacceptable to have four day a week school days.”

The governor also proposes keeping the Health Department, Department of Education and Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services at the current levels. 

“We have to be careful that we don’t cut so far to the bone that we’re not effectively delivering state services to the state that are important to us,” Fallin said.

The governor stressed this is a “work in progress” and she expects more changes. We already know much of her proposal differs from House and Senate proposals.