Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz commented on the Senate’s passage of HB 1019, the revised general appropriations bill that closes the FY’18 budget shortfall:
“This certainly is not how the Senate wanted to resolve the FY’18 budget shortfall, but given the inability of the House to successfully pass revenue-raising measures it’s the best option left to avoid devastating cuts to three health care agencies. This bill also ensures essential mental health programs and health-care waiver programs will be preserved. The Senate took extraordinary steps to advance a bipartisan revenue package that would have closed the shortfall and provided new revenue to eliminate the structural deficit in the state budget moving forward. But that revenue deal didn’t advance in the House, leaving us with this agreement to resolve the budget crisis and bring the special session to a close. Now, the Senate will turn its focus to next year. The Senate will continue its work to find reasonable and sustainable streams of revenue, pursue efficiencies in state spending across the board, and work to implement more transparency in how agencies spend state and federal dollars."
HB 1019 now advances to the Governor’s Office for consideration.
In other action Friday, the Senate approved the following bills before adjourning the special session:
HB 1085, which increases the gross production tax on so-called “legacy wells” from 4 percent to 7 percent; the measure is expected to generate $48 million in new revenue.
HB 1028, which requires the Oklahoma State Department of Health to submit a corrective action report to the Legislature by Jan. 1 to prepare for a reduction in appropriations as a result of the recent financial accounting scandal at the agency.