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In The News
Senate approval sends budget-cutting bill to governor’s desk: A bill that would cut state agency budgets by nearly 2 percent is headed to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk. Fallin is expected to sign House Bill 1020 to shore up the fiscal year 2018 budget. The Senate on Wednesday voted 29-12 to approve the measure, despite debate from Senate Minority Leader John Sparks, D-Norman. If signed by the governor, agencies will take the reductions each month through June to save about $45 million. [Tulsa World]
Medical schools wait for funding resolution: Oklahoma’s two medical schools will have to wait a little longer for the supplemental funding they need to keep their doors open. After a dispute with the federal agency that oversees Medicaid, the two schools lost more than $30 million for fiscal 2018, which ends in June. The Legislature has partially passed a bill that would replace that money and ensure that the state would pay $110 million for next year. House Bill 1022 made it through appropriations and budget committees in each chamber and passed off the House floor. However, the Senate has held the bill because of legal concerns. [Journal Record]
Prosperity Policy: Let’s make a(nother) deal: Last week’s vote on House Bill 1033, the main revenue bill based on proposals from the Step Up Oklahoma coalition, seemed to many to be the best and last chance to raise enough revenue to stabilize the budget and provide a significant raise for teachers and, perhaps, state employees. Despite intense lobbying from influential constituencies, including teachers, health care providers, tribal governments, and the business community, the bill failed to gain the three-quarters support in the House needed to pass a revenue bill. [David Blatt/Journal Record].
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