Statement from Ahniwake Rose, Executive Director for Oklahoma Policy Institute:
Given the extraordinary financial challenges facing Oklahoma, we commend the Legislature for putting together a budget that protects many of Oklahoma’s core services while retaining savings that can be used the following year. From what we’ve been able to surmise in the few hours that the documents have been available, this appears to be a reasonable fiscal approach for the upcoming year. The hard work will be coming next year as our elected officials find our budget path forward for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2021.
With this framework in mind, this marks an opportune time for the Legislature to begin a long-term restructuring of Oklahoma’s governments and their finances. Doing so would allow Oklahoma to diversify the revenue base for state and local governments, invest strategically in programs and services that serve our state’s long-term future, allocate dollars based on need rather than available revenue, make the budget process more transparent, and create a tax system that would be fairer, simpler and more supportive of economic growth.
In the coming days, OK Policy will continue to review and evaluate the proposed budget and its impacts.