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Thursday, April 09, 2020

Stitt signs bills funding budget for April, calls on Legislature to hold to agreement fully funding May and June


Governor Stitt signs SB 1053 and SB 617 to fund budget for April, calls on Legislature to hold to agreement fully funding May and June

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 9, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt signed SB 1053 and SB 617 today, fully funding the state government through the month of April. Gov. Stitt also called on the Legislature to restore funding cuts to Oklahoma’s digital transformation initiatives and preserve all funding to the FY 2020 budget.

“Let me make something clear to the people of Oklahoma,” said Gov. Stitt. “We had a deal with the Legislature to fully fund state government for April, May and June. I am committed to standing by our deal, but House leadership wanted to use this time to play Washington, D.C. politics and sneak in some last-minute changes while Oklahomans are hurting.”

Under the legislation sent to Gov. Stitt’s office this week, state savings were used to fund the entirety of the $416 million revenue failure – with the single exception of funding for digital transformation, an agreed upon budget priority for FY 2020.

“With Governor Stitt’s mission to digitally transform State government services, we have put Oklahoma’s checkbook online, moved from 47th in budget transparency to 7th and we have moved Oklahoma’s broadband ranking from 47th to 26th in one single year,” said David Ostrowe, Secretary of Digital Transformation. “The State is prioritizing valuable funds towards delivering more government services online, enhancing cyber protections of Oklahomans’ personal information and streamlining and improving critical policy areas like criminal justice and health care. With this administration’s digital transformation that is underway, not only will Oklahomans be better served by the State but we will save Oklahoma taxpayers hundreds of millions through future efficiencies. A failure to bring Oklahoma into the 21st century, a transformation a majority of other States have already undergone, will result in a more expensive, more bureaucratic government for the next generation.”

“We had a deal, and I remain committed to that deal that fully funds the rest of 2020 with no cuts,” said Gov. Stitt. “Where I grew up in Oklahoma, your word is your bond. That’s no different at the Capitol. The people of Oklahoma elected me to hold true to my word, and I would be letting them down if I allowed the House leadership to try and play politics after we had an agreement. The truth is on my side.”

Gov. Stitt did not take action on SB 199, which becomes null and void without a meeting of the Board of Equalization to certify the revenue failure.

A video archive of Gov. Stitt’s media availability can be viewed below:

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