The state said unemployment could skyrocket to between 12-14% because of a nearly $420 million dollar budget hole caused by COVID-19.
Governor Kevin Stitt said he'd rather lawmakers look at cuts and cost reductions rather than use the state's savings to fill the budget holes.
“We have the largest savings account in state history with a billion dollars right now,” said Governor Stitt. “And we’re going to use that over the next two years or over the next three years to protect core services.”
The State Board of Equalization, comprised of the governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, and Tax Commissioner declared a state revenue failure on Monday.
That happens when revenue is below what was originally expected.
State leaders say the Oklahoma is short nearly $417 million this fiscal year and more than $1 billion in the hole for next year because of COVID-19 and plunging oil prices.
Oklahoma’s unemployment rate is already at a record high and more job losses are coming with this oil collapse.
According to projections, Oklahoma is likely to see a peak unemployment rate of up to 14%, compared to just 3% last month.
“This initial peak employment loss for the state is 188,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2020,” Said Oklahoma Tax Commission, Jay Doyle. “And we won’t return to the peak level of pre-coved employment until the fourth quarter of 2020.”
Governor Stitt also said he plans to release details on how he's going to re-open Oklahoma's economy in the coming days.