Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's proposed budget has winners, losers

Any proposed budget has winners and losers, and the state budget Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin proposed Monday has plenty of both.
by Randy Ellis Published: February 3, 2014

Any proposed budget has winners and losers, and the state budget Gov. Mary Fallin proposed Monday has plenty of both. Here are brief summaries of some of the biggest winners and losers:

WINNERS

• High-income taxpayers: Oklahoma's top income tax rate would be lowered from 5.25 percent to 5 percent beginning Jan. 1.

• Oklahoma state troopers: $5 million in new money would go to the Department of Public Safety for trooper pay raises. The agency's plan calls for granting pay raises averaging 22 percent to troopers beginning Jan. 1. The governor also is proposing to continue paying $5 million a year to fund the Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper academy.

• Education Department: The department would receive a $50 million funding increase to pay for local school district operations, reading sufficiency programs, charter school building funds and teacher benefit costs.

• Department of Human Services: Agency would receive $36 million in new funding to improve child welfare services and grant pay raises to child welfare workers.

• Corrections Department: Agency would receive $2.4 million in new funding for operational needs as determined by the new director.

• Quick Action Closing Fund: The governor wants an additional $5 million for her Quick Action Closing Fund, which she says has been instrumental in the recruitment of new businesses and retention of old business. She credits the fund with helping attract General Electric and Macy's to the state and says they are bringing a combined 2,625 new jobs and $280 million in new investment to Oklahoma.

• Chief medical examiner's office: $2 million in new money would be appropriated to pay debt service on the construction of a new building for the agency on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma.

• Ethics Commission: $780,000 in new money would go to the agency to replace its antiquated campaign, lobbyist and candidate financial reporting software system.


by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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