Legislature sets appropriations hearings

The Oklahoma House of Representatives is preparing to hold hearings on budget requests of state agencies including those focused on environmental and energy issues.

The House Appropriation & Budget subcommittees will hold the hearings before the start of the legislative session in February 2024. The various state agencies, boards and commissions that receive state funding will go before the members of the appropriate committee to present reports on the prior year spending and to offer explanations for their budget requests for the next fiscal year.

The public is invited to attend every meeting or to watch online on the House website.

“These meetings, which are held each year in the House per state statute, give anyone interested a chance to hear how taxpayer dollars are appropriated to various programs that serve the needs of Oklahomans,” said Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, the chair of the House Appropriations & Budget Committee.

“If the public is interested in hearing how schools used money to pay teachers or on classroom expenses, or if they want to know how transportation dollars were utilized to improve roads and bridges, or how we funded hospitals, health care and human services, or any other of the plethora of uses of state funding, then these hearings will prove invaluable.”

The House each year holds performance reviews and budget hearings in the House Chamber for the agencies that receive the largest portion of state appropriations. In the past, this has included the State Department of Education and the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education. However, this year, these agencies will present the same week along with all other A&B Education subcommittee agencies on January 10.

The House full A&B Committee will have the remaining four largest appropriated agencies present in the House Chamber. All House members are invited and encouraged to attend these meetings to ask questions of the agencies that receive the largest amount of state dollars.

These meetings also are open to the public and available to watch online.

This year, A&B subcommittee chairs will preside over the following in the House Chamber:

  • Office of Management and Enterprise Services, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, Rep. Judd Strom, R-Copan, chair of A&B General Government.
  • Oklahoma Health Care Authority at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, chair of A&B Health.
  • Oklahoma Department of Human Services at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, Rep. Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa, chair of A&B Human Services.
  • Oklahoma Department of Transportation at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, chair of A&B Transportation.

The full schedule of A&B subcommittee performance reviews and budget request hearings are as follows:

  • A&B Natural Resources and Regulatory Services Subcommittee (presented jointly with Senate) 9 a.m. Dec. 18-19, Senate Room 535, Rep. Carl Newton, R-Cherokee, chair
  • A&B Public Safety Subcommittee, 9 a.m., Jan. 8, Room 450, Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, chair
  • A&B Education Subcommittee, 9 a.m. Jan. 9, 9:30 a.m. Jan. 10, Room 4S5, Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, chair
  • A&B General Government subcommittee, 8:30 a.m. Jan. 11, Room 206, Rep. Judd Strom, R-Copan, chair
  • A&B Transportation Subcommittee, 9 a.m. Jan. 19, Room 450, Rep. Nicole Miller, R-Edmond, chair
  • A&B Health Subcommittee, 8:30 a.m., Jan. 22, Room 206, Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, chair
  • A&B Human Services Subcommittee, 9 a.m., Jan. 23, Room 206, Rep. Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa, chair
  • A&B Judiciary Subcommittee, 8:30 a.m. Jan. 23, Room 4S5, Rep. Danny Sterling, R-Tecumseh, chair
  • A&B Finance Subcommittee, 2 p.m., Feb. 5, Room 450, Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, chair

Meeting times, dates and rooms are subject to change. A calendar of all meetings can be found on the House website, OKHouse.gov, under News & Media Live Events: https://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00283/Harmony/en/View/UpcomingEvents/.