A combination of targeted cuts, tapping the state’s savings account and federal stimulus funds will be used to balance this fiscal year’s budget, the governor and legislative leaders announced Tuesday.
The monthly allocation for most state agencies will continue to be reduced by 10 percent through June, the end of the fiscal year. Some agencies will be spared 10 percent cuts. A handful of agencies in education, health and public safety will subsequently receive additional appropriations to supplement their budgets this year and decrease their share of the overall reduction, according to the agreement. As part of the pact, priority status was assigned to public schools, higher education, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and prisons. Each will receive a supplemental appropriation. Even with that action, every state agency will receive some level of targeted cuts for the current fiscal year. "Given the magnitude of the crisis we face, there really were no good options available to us,” Gov. Brad Henry said. House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa; Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R- Oklahoma City, and Henry also agreed to use the Rainy Day Fund and state stimulus funds to help balance the budget. The state has about $600 million of federal stimulus funds still available and about $600 million in the Rainy Day Fund. Capitol Bureau Blog