Gov. Fallin Signs 2019 Budget Bill
Oklahoma's 2019 budget is official.
Gov. Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1600 on Monday. The $7.6 billion budget is the largest in state history, though per capita spending is still lagging behind its all-time high. It's the first budget in several years without agency cuts.
"The budget includes many of the priorities I have called for in my annual State of the State address to lawmakers the past three years. Core services of state government are prioritized throughout the budget," Fallin said. "It provides for a teacher pay raise and additional funding for public schools as well as increased funding for mental health and corrections to implement criminal justice reform measures. The legislation also includes additional revenue growth to put Oklahoma on a stable foundation and reduces reliance on one-time funds."
The budget includes a 19.8 percent increase for common education. The $2.9 billion appropriation includes $353 million to fund teacher pay raises averaging $6,100.
The education budget also has $52 million for support staff pay raises, $24 million for flex health benefits, $33 million for textbooks and $17 million in new funding for the school funding formula.
The budget provides $11 million total for criminal justice reforms like increased drug court access and improved monitoring of inmates on probation or parole.
The budget provides the Department of Human Services a $23 million increase, which will fund Pinnacle Plan improvements to foster care, undo some provider rate cuts and get help faster for disabled adults waiting for services.