Statement by Senator Cal Hobson,
Senate President Pro Tempore Designate
"Oklahoma has many budget challenges, especially in the public schools, but the most pressing problem at this point in time was in public safety. Had we done nothing and allowed the furloughs to take place, the lives of state prison guards and the general public would have been endangered. That would have been irresponsible at best.
"For our schools and other important programs that are hurting, I know that this may not be the most popular use of emergency funds, but given the circumstances, it was the only responsible option available. We all wish that we could snap our fingers and make all the budget problems go away, but unfortunately, we don't have the resources to do that.
"It is important to note that just because this was a single-issue special session does not mean that we have given up on our other budget challenges. We're doing everything we can to work with agency heads and schools officials to minimize the impact of the revenue losses, but because we have so very little available funding, it is difficult if not impossible to do anything significant to help big ticket budget items like education in the short term. That will be a challenge for the next legislature and the next governor to tackle."