The bill to fund state government for the next year passed the House Thursday in dramatic fashion. The governor calls it fiscally conservative.
The budget is $6.8 billion, and although it's been criticized, it does boost funding to a few core services.
This session, for instance, has produced what I would consider to be a fiscally conservative budget.
Governor Mary Fallin increased the state budget by 3 percent compared to last year.
Of the $6.8 billion, 51 percent goes to education; 31 percent goes to health and human services as well as 11 percent to public safety and criminal justice. The rest is divided among general government, transportation and natural resources needs.
"It limits the growth of government while providing a boost to core services and initiatives, many of the initiatives that I proposed in my State of the State," the Governor said.
The Department of Transportation will get nearly twice as much this year to fix our broken roads and repair 706 structurally deficient bridges across the state. The extra money ensures Oklahoma's eight year road and bridge plan remains intact.
"We felt it was critical, not only for safe roads and bridges, but for commerce and trade and the traveling public," Fallin said.
The state is also devoting more money to protect the most vulnerable children from abuse and neglect. The Department of Human Services is getting 9 percent more funding to improve child welfare services after a massive class action lawsuit settlement.
"To better protect our children and to ensure we are doing everything we can to help that agency run in the appropriate manner," Fallin said.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is under new leadership and trying to regain national accreditation after losing it in 2009.
The office is getting a 26 percent boost in funding to make that happen. And the state is authorizing an annual trooper academy for 40 participants within the Department of Public Safety.
The new budget also allots $3 million to increase access to health care in rural areas. Governor says overall, she got most of her agenda pushed through except for tax cuts.