The 5 percent solution?

After two straight years of cuts, the state’s budget situation remains dire. Despite the economic recovery and improving revenue collections, the state faces a huge shortfall for next year. The substantial non-recurring revenues that were used to balance the budget… Read more [More...]

What's at stake: the toll of budget cuts

Another budget year, the same sad story: The combination of tax cuts and the recession results in severe cuts to public services. Over the past two years, most agencies have lost 15 percent or more of their funding. Even though… Read more [More...]

Unfair, inefficient, and bad for business: Why Oklahoma needs sales tax reform

Oklahoma’s tax system is broken. Despite a recovering economy, the state is unable to raise enough revenue to sustain core public services. The strains will only increase over time as we cope with a rapidly aging population, unfunded pension obligations,… Read more [More...]

Pick your poison: Suffocating or amputating state services?

As we discussed in this recent blog post, the State Department of Health has been among the state agencies hit hardest by successive rounds of budget cuts the past two years. State appropriations have been reduced by $11.3 million, or… Read more [More...]

Where the Money Is

With the state anticipating large budget shortfalls – estimated by Republican legislative leaders as in the vicinity of $600 million –  for the upcoming fiscal year, there is renewed talk from state leaders about the need to protect “core public… Read more [More...]

State budget outlook: With no more help from Washington, the worst is still yet to come

Last week I attended the annual State Fiscal Policy conference hosted by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the top non-governmental organization analyzing state fiscal policy across the nation. The message we heard was clear and grim: As rough… Read more [More...]

Play it again: Why government can't be run more like a business

Note: As the economy continues to struggle and revenue collections remain well below pre-downturn levels, we thought this a good time to repost a blog we first ran in January of this year challenging an argument we continue to hear… Read more [More...]

State revenue glass: Half-full or half-empty?

Treasurer Scott Meacham today announced that General Revenue (GR) collections for the first month of the new state fiscal year, FY ’11, came in 9.9 percent above the prior year and 11.9 percent above the official certified estimate. The sales… Read more [More...]

State budget: Where the dollars go

As legislative leaders and the Governor continue to work on an agreement on the FY ’11 budget facing a budget gap of some $800 – $850 million, here’s a quick visual reminder of why you can’t address a shortfall of… Read more [More...]

April revenues: Collections have stabilized but remain well below pre-downturn levels

April General Revenue collections were announced this afternoon and provided further confirmation that while the fiscal free fall has now stopped, the return to pre-downturn levels is likely to remain long and slow. Overall, April’s collections of $512.3 million were… Read more [More...]