FY 2015 Budget Highlights

appropriations-adjustedOK Policy’s annual Budget Highlights issue brief is one of the most informative and accessible ways to track Oklahoma’s public spending. Today we’ve released the FY 2015 Budget Highlights, which include a bullet point summary of the state budget, six charts illustrating different aspects of the budget, and a table showing appropriations for every state agency going back to 2009.

The bullet points are excerpted below. You can download the full issue brief here. You can also see this blog post for analysis of why some assertions made by lawmakers about spending cuts and increases in this year’s budget do not hold up to scrutiny.

Total appropriations for FY 2015 are $7.193 billion.

  • Appropriations are $4 million less than the final FY 2014 budget.
  • Certified revenue accounts for $6.939 billion (96.5 percent) of the budget.
  • An additional $253.7 million was appropriated out of cash reserves, agency revolving funds, and other one-time revenue sources.

Most agency budgets have not kept up with inflation.

  • The FY 2015 budget is $680 million, or 8.6 percent, below FY 2009, adjusted for inflation.
  • This year, 52 out of 73 appropriated state agencies, boards, and commissions received budget cuts or flat funding. Most state agencies were cut 5.5 percent.
  • Many agencies are still 15-30 percent below pre-recession funding levels.

A few agencies received funding increases.

  • Department of Education: $80 million to fund school employee health benefits and boost the school funding formula.
  • Department of Human Services: $44.6 million to fund reforms to the child welfare system, provide employee pay raises, and reduce the waiting list for developmental disability services.
  • Department of Public Safety: $5.4 million for pay raises for state troopers and other employees.
  • Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services: $2.2 million for drug courts, Systems of Care, and pay raises.
  • Office of the Chief Medical Examiner: $1.5 million for operations and debt service on a new headquarters in Edmond.

The budget will result in significant cuts to Medicaid and mental health.

  • Oklahoma’s Medicaid program receives flat funding in the FY 2015 budget. However, to maintain existing services the program needed a $90 million state funding increase, due to increasing costs and utilization and reduced federal matching funds.
  • Due to the funding shortfall, Medicaid is planning to slash provider rates, limit benefits, and hike copays for low-income adults and Oklahomans with disabilities.
  • The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services was provided just $2.2 million of $20.9 million needed to maintain services.


Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

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