Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Oklahoma Senate approves, sends budget bills to House

Oklahoma Senate advances FY’21 budget bills

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday advanced a series of bills as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 budget agreement announced earlier this week.

“Oklahoma has weathered challenging times before, and we will get through this storm too. Our fiscal position is stronger today because of our actions during the last downturn and our decision last year to save money,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “This is a far better budget than most expected considering the toll taken on state revenues by the coronavirus pandemic and depressed oil and gas prices. The budget prioritizes education and other core services that Oklahomans rely upon. I want to thank Senator Thompson and the appropriations subcommittee chairs for their diligent, round-the-clock work on this budget.”

Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah and Senate Appropriations Committee chair, said, “This budget prioritizes public schools and serves the state by mitigating impact on other core services. When you consider federal relief funds, public schools should not see any cut for this fiscal year. Nearly every state is struggling in this time to make accurate fiscal projections. We are looking at the possibility of supplemental appropriations to restore some of these reductions if revenues improve as we expect them to.”

Senate-passed FY’21 budget bills:

  • Senate Bill 1921, which transfers $243.6 million from the Constitutional Reserve Fund to the State Board of Education for the financial support of public schools. Passed 45-2.
  • Senate Bill 1922 is the General Appropriations bill and sets the state appropriation levels of state agencies and services for Fiscal Year 2021. Passed 36-11.
  • Senate Bill 1937, which gives the Oklahoma Health Care Authority the ability to access funds in the Rate Preservation Fund to shore up provider rates. The bill removes the provision the fund can only be used when the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage rate would result in provider rate cuts. Passed 46-1.
  • Senate Bill 1073 authorizes the use of funding from cigarette and tobacco product taxes intended for Insure Oklahoma to be used to fund the state’s Medicaid program. Passed 39-8.
  • Senate Bill 1944 directs the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to publish daily reports of all expenditures from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act on the state’s checkbook website. Oklahoma so far has received $1.2 billion in federal relief funds. Passed 47-0.


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