Okla. Legislature To Address Health Emergency, Budget Crisis


Monday, April 6th 2020, 2:52 am
By: News On 6


The Oklahoma State legislature will be meeting at the Capitol at 8 a.m. Monday for the first time since March 17th after a staffer tested positive for the virus.
 
They have two goals, the Governor's health emergency and a $416 million budget gap caused by the coronavirus.
 
If the health emergency declaration is approved, the Governor will have broader powers to waive statutory and regulatory requirements.
He'll also be able to coordinate cohesive city and county responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Health Care professionals who have left the workforce will be able to rejoin under this order, it will also allow first responders to be notified if they're responding to a potential COVID-19 case.
 
Lawmakers are also expected to tap into the state's $1.1 billion savings to prevent a budget shortfall for the remainder of fiscal year. 
 
"What we don't want to happen right is there be some kind of budget shortfall or deficit during this crisis. We need one crisis at a time," said Representative Jon Echols, the Majority Floor Leader.
 
When lawmakers arrive Monday morning, they will be following strict protocols including limiting crews to less than ten people

 

and having their temperature taken before entering.
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