FY 2016 Budget Highlights

Appropriations_06-16OK 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 2016 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 find more information and analysis about the state budget at our Budget & Taxes Issue Page.

Total appropriations for FY 2016 are $7.139 billion.

  • Appropriations are $96.4 million less than the final FY 2015 budget, a decrease of 1.3 percent.
  • Certified revenue accounts for $6.6 billion (92 percent) of the budget.
  • An additional $590 million was appropriated out of cash reserves, agency revolving funds, the Rainy Day Fund, and other revenue sources.

Most agency budgets have not kept up with inflation.

  • The FY 2016 budget is $719 million, or 9.1 percent, below FY 2009, adjusted for inflation.
  • This year, 62 out of 72 appropriated state agencies, boards, and commissions received budget cuts or flat funding. Cuts to agencies ranged from 0.25 percent to 7.25 percent.
  • Almost half of appropriated state agencies remain more than 20 percent below pre-recession funding levels.
  • After inflation, the state aid formula for public schools is $376 million less than in FY 2008, even as schools are tasked with educating about 50,000 additional students.

A few agencies received funding increases.

  • Oklahoma Health Care Authority: $18 million for general operations. Even with this increase, OHCA will proceed with $110 million in cuts to provider rates and benefits due to rising costs and a declining federal match.
  • Department of Corrections: $14 million that will be used to ease prison overcrowding by sending more state inmates to private prisons.
  • Department of Public Safety: $4.6 million for pay raises for state troopers and other employees.
  • Department of Juvenile Affairs: $2.5 million to maintain a facility for female juveniles.
  • Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services: $2 million for general operations.
  • Increases of less than $1M each went to the Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Oklahoma School of Science and Math, and the Ethics Commission.

The budget sets up a large shortfall going into next year.

  • The budget uses up hundreds of millions in one-time revenues, and lawmakers also allowed a cut to the top income tax rate that will reduce revenues by $57 million in FY 2016 and $147 million in FY 2017. Together, these mean that Oklahoma will go into next year’s budget with a built-in hole of more than half a billion dollars.

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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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