Oklahoma finance officials say declining revenue collections are forcing them to make withdrawals from various funds to make agency allocations this month and are warning state agencies that further budget cuts may be ordered.
Oklahoma's Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger released budget figures Tuesday that show collections to the state's main operating fund in March were 9 percent below the official estimate.
Doerflinger has faced criticism from some lawmakers for depleting the state's Rainy Day Fund in order to maintain state agency funding. Doerflinger maintains he has the legal authority to do so and that the depleted funds will be replenished before the end of the fiscal year.
“We’ve been forced to do this several times this fiscal year to avoid deeper cuts to agencies and keep government operating,” said Preston L. Doerflinger.
“We will be looking to April collections and other upcoming months to make up the difference and reconcile the borrowed funds as we are statutorily and constitutionally required to do.”
But he is warning agencies that if fourth quarter revenues continue to decline, he may be forced to order deeper cuts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.