2014 Budget Summit

Oklahoma Policy Institute

Statewide Budget Summit:  Navigating the Perilous Fiscal Waters

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nahzi Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City


budgetforum2014panelistsDavid Blatt’s Presentation: 11 Things You Should Know about Oklahoma Budget and Taxes (Slides) (Video)

Bill Hoagland’s Presentation: The Federal Budget – Problems and Challenges (Slides)

TogetherOK: Priorities for Oklahoma (Fact Sheet)

Robb Gray’s Presentation: Protecting & Strengthening the Revenue Base – The National Context (Slides)

Twitter Feed: #okbudget2014

CapitolCityOK.com: Five Takeaways from OK Policybudget summit

Tulsa World: Oklahoma revenue crunch colors budget talk

budgetforum2014audienceAP article: Okla. gov speaker differ on state budget ideas


Although Oklahoma is now several years removed from the worst of the fiscal crisis that accompanied the Great Recession, the state continues to face significant budget challenges. Funding levels have never fully recovered to pre-downturn levels, revenue collections are falling again, and the resources to address critical state needs are lacking.  During the first part of the statewide budget summit, participants will hear top experts discuss key budget and tax issues shaping Oklahoma’s fiscal future.   Over lunch, the keynote speaker, William Hoagland of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. will provide the national budget outlook. The day will conclude with an optional advocacy workshop intended to help train concerned citizens to engage in favor of fair and adequate funding of public services.

CLICK HERE for Participant Bios


8:30 – 9:00: Registration and light breakfast

9:00 – 9:15:   Welcome and Introductions – David Blatt, Director, Oklahoma Policy Institute

9:15 – 10:00: The nuts and bolts of state budget and taxes [CLICK HERE for the PowerPoint presentation] [CLICK HERE for the video]

OK Policy director David Blatt will discuss the major components of Oklahoma’s tax system and state budget, and will review recent changes stemming from legislative policy decisions, the Great Recession, and federal deficit control efforts.

10:10 – 11:40: Panel Discussion: Oklahoma’s Fiscal Challenges [CLICK HERE for the audio broadcast on KGOU/KROU’s Oklahoma Voices]

Panelists:  Preston Doerflinger (Secretary of Finance),  Meredith Exline (Parents Legislative Advocacy Committee), Nico Gomez (Oklahoma Health Care Authority), Sen. James Halligan (Senate Education Subcommittee Chair), Prof. Mickey Hepner (University of Central Oklahoma), Rep. Scott Inman (House Minority Leader), Sean Wallace (Oklahoma Corrections Professionals),  Sterling Zearley (Oklahoma Public Employees Association)

Moderator: Marie Price, Journal Record Legislative Report

Political leaders, advocacy representatives and academic specialists will discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by Oklahoma’s changing fiscal landscape.

11:45 – 1:30

Lunch (vegetarian options will be provided)

Keynote Address: G. William Hoagland, Bipartisan Policy Center: “The Federal Budget – Problems and Challenges” (CLICK HERE for the PowerPoint presentation)

William Hoagland is one of the most experienced and respected national experts on the federal budget. He currently serves as Senior Vice-President of the Bipartisan Policy Center, a non-partisan think-tank founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell to help develop principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation and respectful dialogue. For 25 years, Hoagland served as a senior staffer in Congress specializing on budget issues. From 2003 to 2007, he was the director of budget and appropriations in the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN). From 1982 until 2003, Hoagland was a staff member of the Senate Budget Committee, serving as that committee’s staff director from 1986 to 2003, reporting to Senator Pete V. Domenici (R-NM), chairman and ranking member during this period.

Optional Advocacy Training: Together Oklahoma

1:45 – 3:45: Advocacy Workshop: Mobilizing for Fair and Adequate Funding

Participants will hear from local and national experts on how to be well-informed and effectively engaged in bringing about policy changes on budget and tax issues. The session will include small group exercises and discussions.

CLICK HERE for Together OK’s 2014 Priorities


  • Robb Gray, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington D.C.
  • Kris King, Director, VOICE Oklahoma City
  • Meredith Exline (Parents Legislative Advocacy Committee),
  • Kara Joy McKee, Damario Solomon-Simmons (OK Policy/Together OK)

Robb Gray’s Presentation: Protecting & Strengthening the Revenue Base – The National Context



  • Full day: $45
  • Forum (includes Lunch): $40
  • Lunch only: $20
  • Advocacy Workshop only: $10

Full and partial scholarships are available to those for whom cost would provide an obstacle. To apply for a scholarship, send an email to info@okpolicy.org with a brief statement explaining your need.