Oklahoma Governor boasts of savings despite energy slowdown

Oklahoma Gov. Kevn Stitt on Monday tweeted of his success in saving more money for the state in light of the energy slowdown that has seen fewer oil and gas rigs and a decline in income from the energy sector.
 “You demanded better fiscal management of state tax dollars, & we delivered by putting away an extra $200M into savings. This is already proving to be a valuable decision, as it’s protecting core services & protecting taxpayers during a recent slowdown in Okla’s energy sector,” tweeted the Governor.
He pointed to a weekend editorial opinion in The Oklahoman which complimented his financial moves.
“Gov. Kevin Stitt’s successful push last year to place $200 million in the state’s savings account is looking better and better.

The proposal wasn’t welcomed by Democrats, who thought the money should have been used in other ways. The head of the Oklahoma Education Association lamented that “we could have made a bigger investment in our schools, our students and our future.” Some Republican lawmakers also were lukewarm to the idea.

But economic indicators offer validation.

A recent report by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia predicted that Oklahoma’s economy will shrink between 0.2% and 1.5% during the first half of this year — one of only nine states where a slowdown is expected during that time.

That report followed the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City saying that Oklahoma’s economy ended the year in a slowdown after it “grew solidly” in the first half of 2019.

And this week, state Treasurer Randy McDaniel said gross receipts to the state treasury increased during 2019 over the year before, but the growth trend was steadily downward. During the fourth quarter, gross receipts were 0.5% less than for the same period in 2018.

Socking away that $200 million, instead of spending every dime available, was the right move, clearly.”

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