OK 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.
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.