A revenue failure occurs when collections going to the General Revenue Fund over the course of a fiscal year fall below 95 percent of the certified estimate (see Revenue Estimates). The Director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services declares a revenue failure and reduces funds going to agencies by an amount estimated to bring spending into balance with revenue collections. The Oklahoma Constitution specifies that in the event of a revenue failure, each appropriated agency must be cut in equal proportion to their share of total appropriations from the General Revenue Fund. There is nothing in statute or the Constitution that determines the timing of a revenue failure declaration or that specifies the size of cuts.
There have been nine revenue failures since 2000, in budget years 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2020. The budget year 2009 cuts were later restored, and two revenue failures were declared in 2016.
When a revenue failure is declared, the Legislature can use up to 3/8ths of the Rainy Day Fund to prevent or mitigate budget cuts. The Rainy Day Fund was tapped to address mid-year shortfalls in budget years 2003, 2010 and 2020. The Legislature has full discretion to decide which agencies will receive additional funds and in what amounts.