Last week, OK Policy convened a meeting of over 30 representatives of non-profit and advocacy organizations to discuss the state’s budget situation. We begin with a presentation on budget trends and outlooks, which can be viewed on our website; the meeting then turned to a discussion of the impact of the budget crisis on the organizations’ programs and clients, and what can be done about it.
Many of the attendees spoke to the challenges they are experiencing responding to growing demands for services in the economic downturn at a time when all sources of funding – public, philanthropic and private – are being squeezed, and shared a deep concern that further funding cuts would significantly impact their ability to fulfill their core missions. From a policy perspective, the participants were in agreement that the state’s Rainy Day Fund must be used to minimize the extent of funding shortfalls and budget cuts during the current fiscal year. At the same time, we must be proactively considering changes to our budgeting laws and tax system to pull out of the current budget crisis with minimal damage to our core public services and to put ourselves on a sustainable fiscal path in the years ahead.
The group plans to reconvene in early October. If you’d like to be kept informed of our efforts, just e-mail David Blatt (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll add you to the e-mail list. If your organization has been affected by budget cutbacks, we’d appreciate hearing about the impact they’re having on the work you do and the people you serve. Just add a comment below, or e-mail David (email@example.com) and we’ll follow up with you.