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.”