Governor Henry: Painful Cuts On The Way

Friday, January 16th 2009, 11:29 am
By: News On 6

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Brad Henry says state agencies need to be ready for painful cuts because the budget shortfall for next fiscal year will be about $600 million.

The governor says he wants to protect education, health care and public safety from significant cuts. He's also hoping to avoid layoffs or furloughs for the state's 37,000 workers.

The $600 million shortfall represents about 8 percent of the current budget and includes an estimated $310 million decline in state revenue for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

It also includes more than $180 million of one-time revenue sources and carryover money used last year to balance this fiscal year's budget.

The rest of the shortfall comes from declining federal money coming to the state -- mostly for the Medicaid program.

Henry says he's working on an executive budget to present to legislators when the legislative session begins February 2.