Online Budget Guide

State and local governments provide an essential foundation for Oklahoma’s society and economy. Governments create and maintain the public structures that help promote our prosperity, security, and well-being. The way government supports our public structures–what it spends, what it accomplishes, what it does and chooses not to do–reflects our common priorities and affects our common achievements. The same is true of how we divide the responsibility to pay for these structures. The taxes and other revenues collected by government represent each person’s investment in shared prosperity.

Because we depend on government to support the common good and because we share in paying for the costs of government, many of us expect to influence its decisions. We can do that through elections, but their effect is limited. If we want to improve government services or the way we pay for them, we need to take more specific actions. And we cannot do that without a clear understanding of where we are and how we got here. That’s where our Online Budget Guide comes in.¬†

The Online Budget Guide¬† is a tool for users to understand Oklahoma state and local governments, particularly how they collect and spend public money. It is the only resource that combines state and local government and looks at all sources of funding, not just the major taxes,and all spending, not just state appropriations.The Online Budget Guide is a reference “book” that meets the needs of many users.

We think you will find the Guide helpful and informative, no matter who you are. For those just getting interested in state and local government, like students, newly elected leaders, new public employees, and businesses that want to work with government, it’s a broad introductory text. For readers who are experienced in government, the Guide can help answer quick questions from steps in the budget process through how we spend federal grants.

For all users, we want the Guide to be a next step, not the last one. We hope our links to national and state information sources, ideas for getting involved in the budget process, and guide to upcoming policy challenges will get, and keep, you interested and involved.

We’ve created this Guide to help you better understand Oklahoma government, especially how it is financed and what services it provides. We designed it for the general public, but it may be especially useful to those who are already involved in government and politics, like legislators, public officials and employees, and interest groups.

The Guide has many options for navigating and using it. The Online Budget Guide is structured like a book, in that it has sections that would be chapters in a printed version, and a logical order that flows from page to page. You can read the Guide from front to back by clicking the “Go on to…” link at the bottom of each page. You can go to the previous page with the “Go back to…” link also found at the bottom of each page.

The beauty of an online presentation, though, is that you can jump right in to the specific information you need, or you can read whatever interests you in whatever order makes sense to you. We have other navigating tools that help you do this.

  • On the left-hand panel, you’ll find the menu structure. It always shows the five sections, or chapters, along with supporting material like the executive summary, table of contents, and glossary. When you start reading one of the sections, the menu for that section expands, so you can see the options that section affords.
  • At the bottom of many pages, you’ll find links to a series of pages. These are the pages that form the next level down (major sections of a chapter, for example)

If you want to print a page of the Guide, there is an option to do so in the right-hand panel and at the bottom of each page. The page will print in the default format set in your Web browser. You may also want to print our Talking Points Version of the Online Guide.

OK Policy will update the Online Budget Guide as new information become available, and we’ll always post the update date and latest available material here. This version was updated April 2011 and includes state budget information for FY ’11, which started July 1, 2020.

The Online Budget Guide is produced by Oklahoma Policy Institute under the direction of David Blatt, Director. Paul Shinn was the principal author and Austin Linton was the design assistant. S Design of Oklahoma City created the World Wide Web presentation.

This project was funded in part from contributions from members of the Alliance for Oklahoma’s Future.

Go on to Executive Summary >>