Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger warned Thursday that next fiscal year’s state appropriated budget will be flat.
Doerflinger’s comments came in his monthly General Revenue Fund report. The report showed General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in October totaled $471.6 million. That was $3.4 million, or 0.7 percent, above the official estimate upon which the FY2015 appropriated state budget is based and $23.3 million, or 5.2 percent, above prior year collections.
The Workers Compensation Commission approved a fiscal year 2015 and its FY 2016 budget requests Friday, seeking additional funds for the current fiscal year and a better than two-fold increase in next fiscal year’s funding.
Commission Chairman Troy Wilson and Executive Director Rick Farmer said the additional funding will be necessary to deal with an anticipated increase in caseloads.
Earlier this month, the number of claims filed with the commission exceeded the number filed with the Court of Existing Claims.
Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission members expressed concern about a $3 million withdrawal from the agency’s revolving fund by the Legislature. The agency’s revolving fund was one of several lawmakers tapped for funds to appropriate for fiscal year 2015.
Aeronautics Commission Executive Director Vic Bird noted the agency was the only one from which money was taken that does not receive appropriated funds. He said the general appropriations bill was drafted without input from the commission and the agency received no notice the money would be taken.
State finance officials say revenue to Oklahoma's main government operating fund trailed the official estimate by more than 5 percent last month, due mostly to lower-than-expected corporate income tax collections.
Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger reported Tuesday that General Revenue Fund collections in May totaled about $450 million, which is 5.3 percent below the official estimate.
The House gave final legislative approval Thursday to a $7.1 billion budget bill to fund state government during the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The measure appropriates about $102 million less than the current year's budget, but would still increase funding for public schools by $80 million.
The legislation also includes a $44 million increase for the Department of Human Services and $36 million for targeted pay raises for thousands of state employees to bring state salaries closer to private sector salaries.
The Oklahoma Senate has overwhelmingly approved a $7.1 billion budget bill that funds state government for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The Senate voted 31-9 Tuesday for the bill that puts into law the agreement reached last week between the Senate, House and governor's office. The measure now moves to the House for final consideration.
Gov. Mary Fallin's chief budget negotiator says a tentative deal has been reached with the House and Senate on a roughly $7 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
State Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said Friday details of the plan will be released later in the day after the budget is presented in closed-door meetings with rank-and-file members of the House and Senate.
House Speaker Jeff Hickman says he hopes a bond issue to repair the state's crumbling Capitol is part of the final agreement.
The Oklahoma Policy Institute says although Oklahoma is now several years removed from the worst of the fiscal crisis that accompanied the Great Recession, the state continues to face significant budget challenges.
The director of Oklahoma's Department of Human Services is asking lawmakers to appropriate almost $33 million in state tax dollars to operate the agency through the end of June.
DHS director Ed Lake will discuss the supplemental funding request on Monday at a meeting of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Human Services.
In a letter to state officials, Lake says the agency has encountered several funding problems since the 2013 legislative session, when lawmakers approved the agency's budget for the fiscal that ends June 30.