News On 6
UNDATED -- There are more signs that the recession is hitting Oklahoma. Revenue collections for July are well below official estimates.
Now, all state agencies are being ordered to cut 5% from their August spending. July revenue collection is down more than 26% from July 2008. That's 18% below the estimate.
Governor Henry calls the latest numbers disappointing, but not surprising. He'll be meeting with other state leaders to discuss options for the coming months.
--Statement from Governor Henry
"The latest budget numbers are certainly disappointing but not completely surprising in light of recent revenue trends. Last month, we warned state agency directors to be prepared to make additional cuts if revenues came up short, and now that such a scenario has occurred, they will have to implement those reductions
"Obviously, the immediate across-the-board cuts triggered by this revenue shortfall will cause significant hardship for state services and programs. It will be difficult and painful to absorb these reductions, but it is no cause for panic.
"I have been discussing the deteriorating state revenue picture with legislative leaders and finance officials, and we are reviewing all options at our disposal. Fortunately, we anticipated that this fiscal year could be worse than the last, and as a result, we preserved the Rainy Day Fund and retained a large share of federal stimulus funds earmarked for budget stabilization.
"With discussions ongoing, it would be premature to say what course of action we will take. It is likely that revenue trends will improve in the months to come, but we may not have the luxury of waiting for that to occur if revenue conditions continue to deteriorate.
"One thing is certain. We will get through the latest revenue crunch, just as we have addressed similar budget challenges before."