National report gives Oklahoma government finances a high mark
by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
OKLAHOMA lawmakers have slogged through several tough budget years, and officials predict next year won’t be much better. Yet a new national report suggests Oklahoma is among the better-run state governments, financially speaking. So things could definitely be worse.
Research from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, authored by senior research fellow Eileen Norcross, ranks each U.S. state’s financial health based on short- and long-term debt and other key fiscal obligations, including unfunded pensions and health care benefits. Norcross concluded Oklahoma ranks ninth-best for fiscal solvency, outperforming every state in the region.
The state fared well in several categories. In the area of “cash solvency” — Does a state have enough cash on hand to cover short-term bills? — Oklahoma ranked 15th.
In the area of long-run solvency, which measures whether a state can meet long-term spending commitments, Oklahoma was ranked sixth.