House Approves Plan to Use Broad Cuts, One-Time Savings to Fill Budget Hole

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This story was updated 3 p.m. Wednesday following the House’s passage of House Bill 1019.

The Legislature is one step away from sending Gov. Mary Fallin a new budget bill that would cut state spending by $60 million and use millions in one-time revenues to bridge the state’s $215 million budget gap.

The House of Representatives voted 56-38 to approve House Bill 1019 after more than two hours of debate Wednesday.

The proposal, which is expected to be considered by the Senate either Thursday or Friday, could lead to the end of the special session that has moved into its eighth week.

The proposal would avoid cuts to critical state services, including the Department of Corrections, the Department of Health and K-12 education. It also gives the Oklahoma Department of Health $30 million in new funds that officials say is needed after an apparent mismanagement of funds within the agency was discovered earlier this month.

But the proposal calls for 1 to 2.5 percent for most agencies and uses carry-over funds and agency revolving funds to fill the rest of the shortfall. This includes a $17.3 million, or 2.2 percent, reduction for higher education, which has faced a series of cuts each of the past several years.

In addition to the $60 million in cuts, the bill calls for the use of $23 million in leftover funds from last year and $60 million in agency revolving funds to shore up the state’s budget.

This, combined with the $23 million in rainy-day funds the Legislature has already approved and a plan before the Senate that would raise $48 million by increasing gross production taxes on a limited number of older wells, would fill the $214 million budget hole.

View an agency-by-agency breakdown below of what agencies will be cut if the proposal passes the Senate and is signed into law.

  • Three Dollar Bill

    They are trying to austerity their way to prosperity. Raise revenue instead of borrowing.

  • Alma Mercer

    state board of career and technology , get rid of this .so you want to encourage doctors and nurses to work in rural areas and this costs how much ? 3,314,840.00 sounds like bribery to me , get rid of this . J.M.Memorial get rid of this , 230,612.00 .The DAC’s primary function is to strengthen the criminal justice system by providing professional training, technical support, administering federal grant programs, get rid of this , another boys club . 36,151,228,00 Office of Disabled concerns 233,683.00 get rid of this . Board of Musicology cut this . it does not cost that much in determining how a person dies CUT !

  • David Van Risseghem

    I don’t see a 2.5% cut to several agencies? I see a 2.4%. Perhaps a change in the headlines would be an honest attempt at objectivity?

  • Carla

    And, how about that OSDH Human Resources team that report(ed) directly to the COO and Julie Cox-Cain… Retaliation, much? So much fear of termination if you spoke out or attempted to do the ethical or law-abiding thing, it was incredible. Palpable. That fear has not gone away with the resignation of Terry Cline or Julie Cox-Cain…. because too many of “the team” that supported their directives are still working it. Retaliation. Alive and well at OSDH with the helpful assistance of Human Resources staff… “Shred that — and never talk about it again….” yep, words spoken by at least one Deputy Commissioner still holding down her job…

  • Carla

    My first month of work at OSDH in 2014 included a meeting with Julie Cox-Cain, where the running joke was that Garfield County had a revolving door of Administrators — and that if she or anyone else from the state showed up on a Friday afternoon with a brown box, I would know I was being fired. First month. Threats of termination to ensure compliance (if I wanted to keep my job). It was a running joke at every monthly meeting of all the Regional Administrative Directors, led by the Deputy Commissioner and his/her Assistant. I thought I was taking a job in a state that meant a great deal to my extended family — and I was happy to be in Oklahoma to provide a public service in a state that runs deep and long in my family history. What I got instead was constant fear that I was going to be terminated with a moment’s notice if I was not “compliant.” Why is it that local Boards of Health or Local County Commissioners have no say whatsoever in the hiring, discipline, or firing of their Administrators? Makes no sense whatsoever to me. But I’m certain OSDH Senior Leadership has their “reasons” for choosing to retain control. Not certain they are GOOD reasons, but am certain they have them.