EDMOND — Budget reform is expected to be addressed during the upcoming session of the state Legislature, members of the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce were told during a pre-session breakfast Friday.
“Our budget is doing better than other states, but we are not rolling in dough,” said Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We have agencies that singly ask for more money than is available for all agencies to divvy up. We don't have that much more money coming in the coffers.”
Jolley was joined by eight other Edmond-area legislators who briefly talked about what they will be doing when the 54th Oklahoma Legislature session begins Feb. 4.
“I think you are going to see the Legislature looking at budgetary reform as well as getting funding where it needs to be to fund reform.” Jolley said. “We still have not recovered to a pre-recession level of 2009.
“It will not be as large as it was back in 2009 even if we spent everything. And, I don't think that is necessarily what our plans are going to be.”
Legislators are expected to take another look at reforming the workers' compensation system this session, said Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Yukon.
“We plan to seriously look workers' compensation,” Johnson said. “Employers have a big problem.”
Chamber officials support workers' compensation reform because of the problems of the high cost to businesses and low benefits to workers.
Workers' compensation reform was listed in the chamber's 2013 Legislative agenda.
The chamber's top two priorities for Edmond are immediate construction of a new medical examiner's office and assistance from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation in addressing current and future infrastructure needs for Edmond.