Sudden Cancellation Leaves Oklahoma's Comprehensive Budget Undecided

A projected budget costing the state $13.2 billion was set to be heard in both the House and Senate committees today. After postponing the committee meetings, both chambers canceled the meeting at the last minute- saying they’re still working on “ironing out the final details.”

Monday, May 22nd 2023, 7:17 pm



-

A projected budget costing the state $13.2 billion was set to be heard in both the House and Senate committees today. After postponing the committee meetings, both chambers canceled the meeting at the last minute- saying they’re still working on “ironing out the final details.”

It’s the only constitutional duty for state lawmakers, passing a budget for the following year. After 4 months of this legislative session, that still hasn’t happened.

After the initial budget hearing was postponed and ultimately canceled Monday, it’s still unclear when legislators will hear where the state's dollars are going.

The projected budget was rolled out late last night. All together, it will cost $13.2 billion in state resources. Over $1 billion of this is just one time spending for the 2024 fiscal year.

The budget is broken down into nine categories, all of them seeing increases in funding except finance- which saw a 7 percent cut.

The biggest change from last year to this year, natural resources is getting a 100% increase. This will go towards the department of environmental quality, historical society and department of commerce.

General government costs will go up 31 percent. Most of that money would go towards emergency management, which is getting $25 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding.

The budget also gives 23% more towards public health. That's more money towards the Health Department and Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, mental health and substance abuse services and more.

There’s a 7 percent increase in judiciary costs. The Attorney General, District Attorneys and Supreme Court will see more money from that.

A big expenditure for the state, $600 million, will go into the Legacy Capital Fund. This will be money spent over the next two decades for state agencies. Around $350 million of that will be spent right off the bat going towards construction and renovations for state buildings. 

Another one-time investment: $263 million will go to incentivize affordable housing developments. This will provide low interest rate loans for people looking to build single or multi-family homes and provide grant funding for families looking to move into affordable housing.

After back-and-forth all session on paid maternity leave, the final plan allows 6 weeks of paid maternity leave for all state employees who have been at their jobs for at least two years. 

Another new item this year, tax credits for family members acting as caregivers for disabled Oklahomans. It will give up to $2,000 a year for most caregivers and up to $3,000 for people caring for veterans or family members with dementia.

The largest appropriation in the state’s budget, almost $1 billion is going to education expenses. This is a 22 percent increase from last year’s education budget.

Lawmakers passed an education package last week for tax credits and public funding, and that is just waiting on the governor’s signature.

In both the House and Senate, the joint committee on appropriations and budget are scheduled to meet again Tuesday morning, but the agendas are not posted, and it’s not clear whether legislators will be voting on the budget.


logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News on 6 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

May 22nd, 2023

January 20th, 2024

May 11th, 2021

April 15th, 2021

Top Headlines

June 23rd, 2024

June 23rd, 2024

June 23rd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024