Lawmakers Crunch Budget Numbers Behind Closed Doors As Adjournment Nears


Monday, May 16th 2022, 4:10 pm


OKLAHOMA CITY -

As the legislative session winds down at the state capitol, one of lawmakers’ most important duties remains on the to-do list.  

Lawmakers on both sides of the isle are on budget watch, waiting for the proverbial white smoke or some sign that an anticipated $10-billion budget deal has been reached. All while the clock is ticking down toward adjournment, required by May 27. 

“Look at the date on the calendar, we’re running out of time,” Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond said.  

Democrats began the day thinking there may be a vote on a budget proposal Monday. Something that had not come to fruition by late Monday afternoon.  

“We just don’t know, and that was crazy about this moment in this building, this process is that our only constitutionally required duty as a legislature is to do this,” Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-OKC said. “We’ve had four months and now of the last week possibly of session and, it really does feel like an afterthought.”  

Monday afternoon, Senate Democrats walking into the budget chairman's office getting what they say is their first glimpse of a state budget. 

“Honestly, the full unabridged budget, I’m not even sure that it’s finished right now,” Martinez said. “That’s the thing that gets me, it’s not like we’re sitting on this budget that’s agreed-upon and just not sharing it. I still think that there are details being worked out.”