Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Senators comment after $10.5 Billion certified for state budget

Senate Appropriations Chair comments on Feb. 22 revenue certification

OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, issued the following statement after the Oklahoma State Board of Equalization (BOE) met on Tuesday to certify revenues available for appropriation for the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. The amount initially certified by the board in December was $10.3 billion.  The amount certified Tuesday was $10.49 billion. 

“The revenue figures show Oklahoma’s economy is still strong, but I emphatically believe it is in the best interest of the state that we continue to take a fiscally conservative approach.  It’s important to remember that of the $10.49 billion certified, nearly $1.3 billion is made up of one-time carryover funds and special cash from previous sessions. 

“Oklahoma has continued to benefit from federal dollars related to the pandemic, which helped these numbers. Knowing that will change, and that energy prices will not always remain as high as they are now, we must be cautious in our approach to the budget.  We need to continue to boost our emergency savings and make careful decisions now while the economy is strong, so that we are prepared for what may come the next few years.”   

Democratic members of Senate Finance Committee comment on State Board of Equalization meeting

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee released the following statements in response to today’s State Board of Equalization meeting:

Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City:

“Federal COVID relief funds have jump-started Oklahoma’s economy and the revenue numbers shown today reflect that.

“Going forward we believe we will see the greatest return on investment if our tax dollars are used to help the people most impacted by the pandemic. Increased investment in our state’s most critical needs will boost economic growth and reduce poverty. 

“Taxpayers expect the legislature to make smart investments, not stash our tax dollars in government savings accounts leaving much needed funding on the table. It’s our job as the state legislature to invest in good fiscal policy.”

Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City:

“We have a mountain of need, especially when we look at the long-term impact of the pandemic.

“Oklahomans face huge mental health effects. Uncertain economic impacts will continue to have a ripple effect. Our public schools face incredible challenges being resilient and serving our students. Oklahomans have needs that require immediate, increased, and sustained investment. 

“As we work on the state budget, we need to think about not just the next fiscal year, but the next 10 years and beyond. We have to constantly balance the opportunity costs of not taking action. The people of Oklahoma are counting on us to make responsible and courageous decisions that will create greater opportunities for future generations of Oklahomans.”


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