Oklahoma lawmaker pushes zero-based agency budgets

By SEAN MURPHY Published: May 13, 2013
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A longtime Democratic legislator said Monday that he plans to push for a statewide vote to require the Legislature to conduct “zero-based” budgeting on state agencies every four years.

Rep. Joe Dorman said he will introduce a joint resolution during next year's session that, if approved, would send a proposed constitutional amendment to a vote of the people.

“When it comes to the budget, this isn't a partisan issue,” said Dorman, D-Rush Springs. “I just don't think a 15-minute question-and-answer period is enough to learn about an agency's budget.”

Under the current budgeting process, Dorman said the Legislature typically just starts with how much was previously appropriated to the agency and adjusts the budget based on available revenue.

Dorman's plan is to require legislators and officials representing the governor and state auditor to carefully scrutinize agency budgets every year to determine how much state revenue should be appropriated. Agencies would revolve so that the in-depth budget analysis would be conducted every four years to coincide with a four-year term of a governor or state senator.

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