Legislature Reconvenes Monday To Discuss $1.3 Billion Budget Shortfall

Monday, May 4th 2020, 7:30 am

Oklahoma City -

Lawmakers will get back to business at the state capitol after COVID-19 delayed the legislative session for a month and a half.

The legislature is facing a $1.3 billion shortfall and the possibility of a special session.

Majority Floor Leader, Rep. John Echols, said the state has lost more than 18% of the total budget revenue. That means cuts could be coming to state agencies and services from 3-10%.

Some lawmakers said they were confused about those budget estimates because the $1.3 Billion shortfall was assuming the state didn’t open back up on the 15th.

Instead, it opened back up earlier on May 1st. 

Echols says he doesn’t understand why that wouldn’t change the Tax Commission’s estimates. 

“You’ll see us as a legislature pass a budget with the dollars we have if more money comes in,” said Representative Echols on Your Vote Counts with Scott Mitchell. “If more money comes in you may see us in special [session] if revenues come back higher and we hope they will.”

Governor Kevin Stitt has yet to say how he’ll spend $800 million federal dollars to fight COVID-19. That decision could take a large chunk out of the shortage.