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Senate GOP Seeks to Break Fiscal Deadlock With Common Sense Budget Proposal

Sens Coffee, Williamson and Pruitt talk to reporters about Republican budget proposals. Sens Coffee, Williamson and Pruitt talk to reporters about Republican budget proposals.
Senator Williamson Comments on Republican Budget Proposals.

Oklahoma State Senate Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 30 Clip For Immediate Release: March , 2003
Sens. Coffee, Williamson and Pruitt talk to
reporters about Republican budget proposals Senate GOP Seeks to Break Fiscal Deadlock
With Common Sense Budget Proposal State Capitol, Oklahoma City Senate Republicans unveiled a compromise proposal for the FY0 state budget aimed at breaking the partisan deadlock over fiscal issues at the State Capitol. The Republican caucus is presenting a common sense budget framework that reforms the budget process and protects funding levels for the most important functions of state government without a tax increase on Oklahoma families, stated Senator James Williamson, RTulsa, the Senate Republican Floor Leader. This is a positive proposal that funds our priorities without making severe cuts to the rest of state government. I hope we can now proceed together to fund education first and in the immediate future, said Senator Glenn Coffee, ROklahoma City, an Assistant Republican Floor Leader. Our budget helps prioritize spending and requires government efficiency through zerobased budgeting. It seeks to reign in the outofcontrol spending we have seen in recent legislative sessions that has depleted the rainy day fund and led to the current budget crisis, stated Senator Scott Pruitt, RBroken Arrow, an Assistant Republican Floor Leader. Williamson concluded, Our budget includes many of Governor Henrys proposals, and we are very close to the governors overall budget numbers. The Senate Republican leadership team will present this budget proposal at todays bipartisan leadership meeting with the Governor. Our caucus hopes this proposed compromise can produce an immediate budget agreement that protects public education and spares the people of Oklahoma from the burden of additional taxes during these tough economic times, Williamson said. FUNDING HIGHLIGHTS: The GOP budget proposes . billion in spending for Fiscal Year 200, and includes a million budget surplus for FY0. The budget would essentially be frozen at net FY03 levels with a decrease of just /0th of onepercent from the total net FY03 spending, while restoring this weeks new cuts.
The budget increases common education and Medicaid healthcare funding to Governor Henrys proposed funding levels.
The budget holds harmless total funding for Governor Henrys cabinet categories of veterans, education, health and human services, transportation, environment, and the judiciary at the net FY03 levels.
The budget accepts Gov. Henrys funding levels for the general cabinet categories of human resources and administration, secretary of state, agriculture, commerce and tourism, energy, military affairs, and science and technology. The budget also accepts Governor Henrys proposed funding for safety and security, but includes an additional percent for corrections.
The budget cuts the Governors office, the Legislature, and the finance and revenue cabinet category by 0 percent from net FY03 funding. Funding for the Lieutenant Governors office would be rolled back to FY00 levels. REVENUE HIGHLIGHTS: The budget generates 20 million in new revenues without a tax increase.
The budget accepts Governor Henrys proposal to utilize one time use of premiums for firefighters, law enforcement, and police retirement programs. It also accepts Henrys proposals to transfer cash from various agency revolving funds to a special cash fund, and to accept Henrys proposal to refinance various state bond issues.
The Senate Republicans also pledged to provide enough votes from their caucus to help Democrats pass up to million of Governor Henrys proposed user fee increases.
The budget proposes the privatization of CompSource Oklahoma, a stateowned workers compensation insurance company. It also includes a federal election reform bonus obtained by U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook for Oklahoma.
The budget adopts zerobased budgeting, which Republicans conservatively estimate will lead to an additional percent in savings through increased efficiency. ASSOCIATED BUDGET REFORMS / REQUESTS: Establish zerobased budgeting, to be used in calculating FY0 state budget.
Fund FY0 common education this week.
Allow a vote of the people on a constitutional amendment requiring the Legislature to fund common education by March each year.
Fund Corrections, Public Safety, and Health Care Authority no later than April .
Ensure ad valorem fund reimbursements to public schools are fully funded.
Implement financial incentives to encourage voluntary consolidation of public school administration and services.
Explore feasibility of using local funds to obtain additional Medicaid federal matching funds.
Require revenue shortfall provisions in state contracts, and allow salary reductions in the event of shortfalls.

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