Countywide & Sun - Connecting you to the community where you live, work & play!

Capitol Report

 

Here in the House I am hopeful that we will have a budget to be voted upon soon. Optimistically this can be done by the end of the month. We wish that the press conference held on Monday, May 13, 2019, had all three parties standing together. Instead, the Governor and House leadership decided it was best to be transparent with the public and show where we are with budget priorities after Senate leadership left the negotiating table and released never-before-seen budget requests.

In the Governor and House’s budget proposal, we would save $200 million additional dollars to protect core services in the future, invest $200 million in education — but we do this across the education spectrum, from giving our teachers a pay raise in common education and fully funding the Reading Sufficiency Act, to improving compensation pay for career tech employees, and investing in research programs for our colleges and universities.

Also prioritize funding for a state employee pay raise, to include a specific 14% increase for Department of Correction employees, fund both a legislative budget oversight office and increase funding for the State Auditor’s office as we increase requests for auditing of state agencies, ensure important criminal justice reforms and diversion programs are financially supported, and finally promote job growth and economic expansion through the Quick Action Closing fund and other important Commerce programs.

With these funding priorities, the state’s appropriated budget will total $8 billion, an increase of five percent over last year’s budget while also putting Oklahoma on the path to saving more than $1 billion — or two months of expenses — for a future Rainy Day. There is still room to negotiate with the Senate and get everyone on board. Our hope is that this public communication, showing Oklahomans our spending priorities, will draw the chambers back together to finalize a budget soon.

Personally, my goal is still to make sure education is addressed, not only now but in the future. A recent study shows that 70% of Oklahomans are in favor of a teacher pay raise for all teachers. A big concern of mine is that the Senate has left out a public employee pay raise. These employees are long past overdue for a raise.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. My office phone number is (405 )557-7349 and my office address is 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Rm 328B, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019