Oklahoma budget deal puts office space ahead of public safety

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: May 7, 2013

Lawmakers considered providing raises to both groups. One bill would have designated $12.2 million to, in part, raise correctional officers' salaries to $14 per hour. Another measure would have provided $7.3 million to bump OHP salaries.

So what was included in the budget? The Legislature — the House, Senate, and Legislative Service Bureau — received a combined increase of $7 million on top of last year's $2 million increase. That includes $5 million to remodel currently unused Capitol offices.

Why not use that $5 million for correctional officers or state troopers? It wouldn't meet all needs, but would provide a good start. Instead, Oklahomans are left to wonder if the governor and lawmakers value refurbished offices more than public safety.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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