KGOU

State Bond Advisor Warns Rating Agencies Won't Like Oklahoma's Next Budget

May 31, 2015

Oklahoma Capitol Building
Credit ana branca / Flickr

Bond rating agencies will not be fond of Oklahoma’s fiscal year 2016 budget, State Bond Advisor Jim Joseph told the Council on Bond Oversight.

“This budget will not be something the rating agencies will like because of the way is was balanced with one time money,” Joseph said Thursday during a meeting of the council.

 

Joseph pointed out the budget uses a variety of one-time funding sources, including $150 million from the Constitutional Reserve or Rainy Day Fund and $125.2 million from agency revolving fund accounts.

 

He said the rating agencies were critical of the current fiscal year’s budget, because of its use of one-time funds to balance. “To them, it’s an indication we are out of balance with our budget process.”

 

 

At least one lawmaker is calling for Gov. Mary Fallin to veto this year’s general appropriations budget.

In an interview last Tuesday, Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, criticized HB2242 for its dependence on one-time funding to pay for ongoing expenses.

Murphey said legislators are “kicking the can down the road” by raiding one-time transportation funds instead of finding ways to reduce spending within this and other agencies.

Murphey argued that addressing spending reductions this year would have put the state in a better situation next year even in the event that revenues continue to be down.

 

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