Fallin Signs Bill Cutting Fiscal Year 2018 Budget $44.7M
Gov. Mary Fallin signed Tuesday a budget bill cutting current fiscal year spending nearly $45 million.
House Bill 1020XX was a measure passed during the Oklahoma legislature's second special session, which has not adjourned yet. It imposes an across-the-board 0.66 percent cut, which translates into a nearly 2 percent cut per month to each agency's budget in order to shave $44.6 million from state spending.
The bill was sent to Fallin Friday, but she has been at the National Governors Association Conference in Washington, D.C.
Fallin convened two special sessions after the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a $1.50 per pack cigarette tax, leaving a $214 million hole in the state budget and taking roughly $70 million away from three health agencies.
Revenue measures introduced in special session could not get the required three-fourths majorities, which Fallin blames House Democrats for.
"Most House Democrats chose politics over people by refusing to vote for the budget package," Fallin said. "Their no votes resulted in votes against a teacher pay raise, funding our health and human services and protecting our most vulnerable citizens, and against putting our state on a stable budget path forward."
A package of cigarette, tobacco, fuel, low-point beer and gross production tax increases fell five votes short of a three-fourths majority in the House in November.
The Step Up Oklahoma plan, a tax package proposed by businessmen in the state, fell 13 votes short in the House two weeks ago, with 17 Democrats and 18 Republicans opposed.