Governor Says Budget Process Flawed, Line-Item Vetoes Likely

Monday, March 26th 2007, 3:43 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Governor Brad Henry on Monday derided a $6.9 billion state budget he said was negotiated through a "flawed process" without his input and suggested he will use his line-item veto authority to reject much of it.

Henry, flanked by state Treasurer Scott Meacham and House Democratic leader Danny Morgan, said he plans to sign supplemental spending plans for state prisons and public schools that are part of the massive general appropriations bill approved by the House and Senate last week.

But the Democratic governor hinted that much of the funding for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1 is in jeopardy.

"The process was flawed. We found some concerns," Henry said. "I will not hesitate to use my line-item veto power."

But the governor would not be specific about what parts of the spending measure he may veto.

Morgan, of Prague, said the House's Democratic caucus is concerned that the proposed 2008 budget does not include sufficient funds for prisons and education and will vote to sustain the governor's vetoes.

"If the governor chooses to veto the right area, we will be very supportive," Morgan said. "We think there are mistakes in the budget. We need accuracy in this."