State Revenue Shortfall Has Lawmakers Looking At Cuts

Monday, August 24th 2009, 1:39 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK -- Governor Brad Henry and members of the state Legislature are considering a special session to deal with budget issues.

Things have changed since May, when Henry and legislative leaders said a special session would not be needed.

State revenue figures from June and July have changed their thinking.

5/11/2009 Related story: Governor: Legislative Special Session Not Needed

According to Oklahoma state treasurer Scott Meacham, tax collections plunged in June. Total revenue collections for June were down $190 million, or 30 percent from the same month in 2008.

7/14/2009 Related story: Recession Hits State of Oklahoma Revenue

But despite that news, state officials said at the time it was premature to talk about a special session of the state Legislature.

Back then the governor said he was asking agency directors to review their operations in anticipation of making budget cuts.

Henry said he has asked agency directors to again review their operations in anticipation of more cuts.

In July, revenue collection numbers were down more than 26% from July 2008. With that news, state agencies were ordered to cut 5% from their August spending.

The Governor said his office was reviewing all options.

"I have been discussing the deteriorating state revenue picture with legislative leaders and finance officials, and we are reviewing all options at our disposal," said Henry.

8/11/2009 Related story: Oklahoma's July Revenues Take Huge Hit

By the time mid-August rolled around, Governor Henry and legislators said they were discussing a possible special session that would deal with additional cuts to state agency budgets.

8/19/2009 Related story: Oklahoma Governor & Lawmakers Consider Special Session

No final decision on a special session has been made.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.