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 $215 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.