STATEMENT: Governor Fallin’s proposed budget leaves Oklahoma’s best tools on the shelf

Oklahoma Policy Institute released the following statement in response to Governor Fallin’s proposed state budget for 2016:

Governor Fallin rightly recognizes that Oklahoma needs to boost education funding, reduce incarceration, rein in tax breaks, and improve our citizens’ health, and her push to evaluate government programs using clear metrics may be very beneficial. Unfortunately her budget leaves on the shelf the best tools we have to accomplish these goals. By continuing to refuse billions in federal funds for health coverage and allowing another unnecessary cut to the top income tax rate to kick in, her proposed budget passes up Oklahoma’s most significant opportunities to fund critical needs. At the same time, it would add further cuts to many important services that have been already slashed over 20 percent in recent years, while providing a few small funding increases that are nowhere near what is needed to meet the rising costs of education, health care, and public safety.

Another concern is that by raiding unspecified revolving funds for hundreds of millions, the proposed budget would continue an unsustainable, one-time fix that shifts money away from its statutory purposes. This practice does nothing to address Oklahoma’s long-term budget gap, and it was twice found unconstitutional when lawmakers attempted it last year.

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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.

3 thoughts on “STATEMENT: Governor Fallin’s proposed budget leaves Oklahoma’s best tools on the shelf

  1. PLEASE put bipartisan politics aside and properly fund state healthcare and public education. You owe it to the people of Oklahoma to meet their needs. Thank you.

  2. Make the right choice for our hospitals, budget and citizens. Take the Medicare expansion and quit playing politics with Oklahomans lives.

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