State Agencies Deal with 2% Budget Cuts

Those state agencies dealing with the environment, transportation, oil and gas and other energy related matters in the state already were aware their budgets were being cut 2 percent before Gov. Mary Fallin made it official this week.

Gov. Fallin on Tuesday signed House Bill 1020XX , the Fiscal Year 2018 budget bill into law.  The $6.98 billion budget covers the current fiscal year which ends June 30. In signing it, the governor also took political aim at Democrats.

As to impact at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, spokesman Matt Skinner was asked by OK Energy Today.

“It affects us, but not in any noteworthy way,” he replied. “We can handle it for now. FY 19 is the big challenge for us and others.”

 The new law cuts state spending by nearly $44.7 million. It also requires every state agency to cut nearly 2 percent from their budgets over the next four months.

At the Transportation Department, Cody Boyd said, “ODOT will try its best to absorb the cut of nearly $1 million in our operations budget. Any further cuts in the FY 2019 budget will, like last year, impact projects in the Eight-year Construction Work Plan.”

Fallin urged lawmakers to pass revenue and reform measures to make up the funding gap. However, members in the House of Representatives failed to muster the required three-fourths majority necessary for certain revenue measures.

“Most House Democrats chose politics over people by refusing to vote for the budget package,” said Fallin. “Their no votes resulted in votes against a teacher pay raise, funding our health and human services and protecting our most vulnerable citizens, and against putting our state on a stable budget path forward. Unfortunately, House Democrats kept moving the goalposts and the people of Oklahoma are the ones who lost.

“Developing a budget in this difficult fiscal and political climate is never easy. This budget keeps our government operating and, despite challenging circumstances, funds our core mission services. Passage of the Step Up Oklahoma plan, House Bill 1033XX that failed earlier this month would have helped fill our budget hole for the current fiscal year as well as put Oklahoma on a more stable budget path.”

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