Officials Expect Oklahoma's Budget to Take a Hit from Pandemic, Oil Slump

Mar 23, 2020

Oklahoma faces a one-two economic punch: Thousands of workers could be unemployed from COVID-19-related business cuts or closings, and the price of oil is stuck in the $23 range.

The situation could hit state spending in the current fiscal year.

"It’s possible we could have what we call a revenue failure. We are working with the House and the Senate to how we would address that," said Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Oklahoma currently has about $1 billion in savings between its two reserve funds, the Rainy Day Fund and the Revenue Stabilization Fund.

In addition, some lawmakers are forecasting a shortfall of up to $500 million for next fiscal year.

"We’ll be able to use some of the rainy day or the stabilization fund to get us through 2020, and then as we’re working on the budget for fiscal year 2021, we’ll continue to do that as well," Stitt said.

The state budget assumes oil prices around $54 a barrel.