Saturday, March 23, 2024

Senate leaders comment after budget transparency measure passes Senate floor

Senate Leaders Comment After Budget Transparency Measure Passes Senate Floor

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 18th) – Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City and Senate Appropriations Chairman, Senator Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, today released the following statements after the Senate budget resolution passed 41 – 3 off the Senate floor.

Senate Resolution 31 is the result of the Senate’s budget transparency project that has been in the works for months. The new process brought the Senate budgeting process to light and showed a behind the scenes look at how members make decisions on where taxpayer money goes.

“The most important thing we do each year is pass a balanced budget,” Pro Tem Treat said. “Although, this is the most important part of our job it is the one that historically has been the most opaque and least inclusive. We have made steps in the recent past in the Senate but our chamber decided to dedicate ourselves to complete transparency this year.  I am proud of the work that nearly all senators have participated in this year. It goes to show when you empower the right members, they will never cease to amaze you and go beyond your grandest concept. This is a responsible budget that balances the needs of Oklahoma and one that keeps us on a sustainable trajectory that keeps our commitments to tax relief, investing in education, transportation, and health care. We are hiding nothing and we are ready to negotiate with the House.”

The resolution is based on budget estimates the state Board of Equalization certified in February. The board certified the Legislature will have just shy of $14 billion to appropriate this year. About $11.6 billion of that is recurring revenue. The resolution also factors in the $313 million estimated cost of the grocery tax cut in the upcoming fiscal year.

“Senate Resolution 31 is a comprehensive spending plan that addresses the needs of Oklahomans across the state because our constituents come first,” said Thompson, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The purpose of state government is to ensure all Oklahomans feel safe in their homes and that they have access to quality schools and reliable health care. Although there’s always more work to be done, this proposed budget prioritizes funding for education, public safety, transportation and health care. I appreciate Pro Tem Treat for trusting me to take the lead on improving our budget process.”


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