Saturday, May 25, 2019

Governor Stitt signs FY2020 state budget


GOVERNOR SIGNS GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR FY’20, $200 MILLION FOR STATE SAVINGS.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (May, 24, 2019) – Governor Kevin Stitt, joined by House and Senate Republican leadership, today signed into law HB 2765, the general appropriations bill of $8.1 billion for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY’20), and SB 1076, legislation to setting aside $200 million for the state’s savings. 

The FY’20 budget received overwhelming support in the House and Senate, breaking records with the state’s investments in core services while also putting Oklahoma on the path to saving more than $1 billion by the end of FY’20, the largest savings account in state history.

“Congratulations to the Legislature and leadership for their hard work this session. I am proud of the fiscally responsible budget we have signed into law,” said Gov. Stitt. “For the first time in state history, we will increase Oklahoma’s savings account, in order to protect core services in the future, without the law forcing it. For the first time in state history, we will give Oklahoma teachers a pay raise for a second year in a row. For the first time in state history, we will fully fund the Reading Sufficiency Act while also putting an additional $74 million into the funding formula for local classroom needs. For the first time in state history, we will fully fund our roads and bridges, and we will also make the largest deposit into the Quick Action closing fund, helping Oklahoma compete for new jobs. We will move the needle in criminal justice reform by investing in drug courts and diversion programs, and we will reform District Attorneys’ funding model so they are not reliant on high fines, fees and court costs that have created a debtor’s prison. We will prioritize funding for oversight, transparency and audits as well as funding to modernize the delivery of state services, making it customer-focused and cost efficient.”

“This year was capped by a terrific budget deal that makes significant investments in classroom funding, teacher pay raises, and criminal justice reforms,” said President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “We also delivered on important policy fronts like constitutional carry, judicial redistricting, and workers’ compensation reforms. The totality of our work this session will bring positive, transformational changes and help make Oklahoma an even better state.”

“This is the best budget we have passed in a long time, and it is a budget that Oklahomans can be proud of,” said Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka. “We were able to fully fund many core services, drastically increase funding for public education, provide another teacher pay raise and another state employee pay raise, increase Medicaid provider reimbursement rates and maintain momentum in roads and bridges funding. And we put aside significant savings for the first time. I am grateful for the working relationship I have with Gov. Kevin Stitt and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, and I am very optimistic about the direction and future of our state.”

The FY2020 Budget summary is as follows:

Common Education
For the first time in state history, Oklahoma teachers will receive a pay raise for two years in a row. For the first time, the Reading Sufficiency Act will be fully funded. With the additional $74M going to the classroom through the funding formula, public education will be funded at the highest levels in state history, exceeding the 2008 watermark of $2.5 billion.

The common education appropriation increased by $158 million, a 5.4% increase, which includes the following funding priorities:

  • $58.9 million for an average $1,220 salary increase for 97% of Oklahoma’s public school teachers
  • $19 million to pay for cost increases for teachers’ flexible benefit allowance
  • $5.5 million for the Reading Sufficiency Act
  • $74.3 million for local school districts to use to hire additional teachers, counselors, social works or address their unique needs in their districts.


Higher Education

  • $18.1 million for faculty compensation Faculty compensation 3.5 percent increase - $18.1 million
  • $3.3 million to fully fund senior concurrent enrollment programs Fully fund senior concurrent enrollment programs - $3.3 million
  • $7 million for Section 13 capital offset allocation increase

Career and Technology Education

  • $18.3 million funding increase for Career and Technology education

Transportation
For the first time in state history, the Department of Transportation’s 8-year program is fully funded, and the state is repaying the county roads program $30 million so that counties can get back on track with their 5-year plan.

Agriculture and Rural Oklahoma

  • $500,000 to fund a public-private partnership to maintain clean water in Northeast Oklahoma and areas with high poultry density
  • $90,000 to hire an additional state veterinarian
  • $1.1 million for Wildfire mitigation funding and additional resources for rural fire fighters
  • $1.6 million to improve rural flood control dams

GOVERNMENT MODERNIZATION
For the first time in state history, state employees will get a pay raise two consecutive years. Also, for the first time, Oklahoma will set aside one-time funds to bring state government services into the 21st century through digital modernization. This will make government more transparent, more cost efficient, and customer-focused.

  • $37.7 million for an additional state employee pay raise of up to $1,500. This builds upon the state employee pay raises given in FY’2019 of up to $2,000 per employee.
  • $15 million for digital transformation of state government services to enhance transparency and make customer service more efficient and effective
  • $1.7 million for the creation of the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency
  • $700,000 to hire more auditors and increase the State Auditor’s office capability to conduct more regular audits across state agencies

PUBLIC SAFETY

  • Funding prioritization for two new trooper academies, putting an estimated 80 more troopers on the roads in 2020.
  • $2 per hour pay increase for correctional officers, which is a 14% raise. This will bring correctional officer pay to the regional market average and in turn will bolster the Department’s recruitment effort to fill vacancies.
  • $1 million to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits

CRIMINAL JUSTICE
The $10 million for Smart on Crimes programs in the Department of Mental Health sets a historic new level of funding for diversion programs to reduce recidivism rates. The $20 million additional dollars appropriated to District Attorney makes historic changes to replace the 991 and supervision fees funding DA offices.

  • $20 million to reform the funding of District Attorney offices
  • $10 million for Smart on Crime programs through the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  • $1.5 million for the Women in Recovery diversion program
  • $1.7 million to provide drug court alternatives through mental health

JOBS / ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
For the first time in state history, Oklahoma will make the largest deposit into the Quick Action closing fund, helping state leaders compete for new jobs to diversify our state’s economy while the nation’s economy is booming.

  • $19 million for the Quick Action Closing Fund, prioritizing recruitment opportunities to grow Oklahoma
  • $1 million for additional job growth and economic development specifically in the automotive industry and in aerospace through the Department of Commerce’s Aerospace Commerce Economic Services (ACES) program
  • $1 million to assist new entrepreneurs and small business innovators through the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology 

Healthcare

  • FMAP increase will allow for a 5 percent provider rate increase in FY’20, which in turn will increase funding support to rural hospital and nursing homes
  • $62.8 million for Graduate Medical Education program to support physician training for rural hospitals
  • $29 million saved to a new preservation fund to preserve Medicaid provider rates when the federal government’s 3-year rolling average results in a rate decline.
  • $10 million to decrease the Developmental Disability Services wait list and increase provider rates
  • $4.6 million to increase immunizations and staff county health departments throughout the state

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