Senator Jeff Rabon, Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services, stated today that rural Oklahoma is not getting its fair share of the pie in the latest budget agreement announced by both Senate and House leaders.
Vital programs that benefit rural Oklahoma were removed from the budget agreement that was announced last week in a press conference. Services that already took a deep cut two years ago during the fiscal downturn.
“The leadership in both houses had to overcome great odds to reach a budget agreement. I applaud the chairmen of the Appropriations Committees on both sides, but they definitely left their mark on rural Oklahoma,” stated the Democrat from Hugo.
Services that were eliminated from the budget include a youth restitution program that ensures adolescent offenders pay their debt to society as well as their crime victims. Another program created to clean up the mess of Oklahoma’s mining community was eliminated along with many other programs and services unique to rural Oklahoma.
“We still have four weeks left in this legislative session and I will continue to work my hardest with my chairman as well as the House subcommittee chairman to try and restore some of this vital funding that benefits rural Oklahoma. Again, I know it was not an easy feat to reach a budget agreement, but I do not think that the people who are the backbone of our state should have to suffer the consequences and hopefully, some of these crucial programs will be restored and funded in this session,” concluded Rabon.