FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 24, 2017
Governor Mary Fallin Statement on 2018 Fiscal Year Budget Agreement
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today released the following statement on the budget agreement that has been reached for the 2018 fiscal year:
“Developing a budget in this difficult fiscal and political climate is never easy. This plan keeps our government from shutting down. It is not an ideal budget, but it avoids draconian cuts to our core services such as education, health and human services, and public safety; unfortunately it leaves many agencies facing cuts for the sixth year in a row. It puts some recurring revenue on the table, but does not address the structural budget challenges that I have been working to fix since I took office. Year after year, I have repeated my warning about our reliance on one-time funding and our eroding tax base, and yet again we have crafted a budget that only fixes some of the defects in our funding formula.
“Let there be no mistake, there is still work to do. When legislators return next year, they will already face a $400 million hole caused by one-time funds and $100 million of obligations coming due over the next 12 months that will need to be paid. Hopefully, in the months that follow they will begin putting together a real plan to address the budget to fill that hole when they return in February of 2018 – an election year when we know it is difficult to pass revenue measures.
“Now that we have reached an agreement on the budget, I am confident that Speaker McCall will do the honorable thing and allow the criminal justice reform bills be moved to a different committee so they can get a fair hearing before the end of session. The Department of Corrections is a key part of our state budget and this action would potentially save the agency and the state millions of dollars.”