Oklahoma Panel Projects Flat Budget in 2020, Certifies $8.3B for Spending

Dec 20, 2019

Credit Serge Melki

A state panel led by Gov. Kevin Stitt has certified the state will have about $8.3 billion to spend on next year's budget, roughly the same amount as the current year's budget.

The Board of Equalization on Friday certified that figure, which is $9.4 million, or 0.1% more than current-year spending. Stitt will use the certification to build his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Meanwhile, revenue collections for the current fiscal year are about 3.5% below estimates.

"Oklahoma’s state revenues are beginning to plateau after losing more than 60% of oil and gas drilling activity since this time last year. The fiscal discipline displayed in the [fiscal year 2020] budget, by setting aside an extra $200 million to achieve $1 billion in savings, is already proving its value in protecting core public services and strengthening the state’s credit rating," Stitt said in a statement.

Stitt said he plans to reduce agency budgets in fiscal year 2021 to account for about $250 million in "one-time" expenses that were approved in last year's budget. He said that additional revenue should allow for extra spending on priorities like health care and education.