Legislation to reform the state’s budget process advanced from the Senate Rules committee on Wednesday. Senate Joint Resolution 30 would allow Oklahomans to vote on a proposal to dedicate every other legislative year exclusively to drafting the state’s budget.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, author of the proposal, said the reform would bring increased scrutiny and transparency to the budget process.
“Crafting the state’s budget is one of our most important responsibilities, and this proposal would allow lawmakers to examine the process in greater depth,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “This reform would also bring greater transparency to budgeting, allowing both lawmakers and the public to take a closer look.”
If approved by voters, SJR 30 would allow the Legislature to draft a budget every year while taking up public policy measures during each odd-numbered year.
The Legislature could consider policy proposals in even-numbered years if two-thirds of members in both chambers of the Legislature vote to do so.
“Dedicating every other year to drafting a budget would give all lawmakers greater input in the process,” Bingman said. “It would also give us the opportunity to spend more time engaging with state agencies in a meaningful review of their needs and expenditures.”
SJR 30 now advances to the full Senate.