Communications & Public Affairs
May 4, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wes Carter, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus
House Democrats Express Frustration with Budget Process
OKLAHOMA CITY — House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, released the following statement on behalf of the House Democratic Caucus regarding the budget proposed by House and Senate Republicans on Monday.
“Not because of COVID-19 but due to a clash of egos, this is one of the most disappointing budgets in my legislative career. While the governor sits on $800 million in federal funding, the legislature is constructing a budget that cuts government agencies like education and human services, takes money away from the pensions of police officers, teachers, firefighters, and public employees, and leaves Oklahomans more vulnerable to future pandemics. We are doing this based on a revenue model created by the governor’s office, but we have not been allowed to view how they actually came up with the number.
“The governor needs to stop playing political games during a pandemic and use the money allocated to Oklahoma to fund state government. If he believes in the $1.3 Billion shortfall, then he should release the formula of how he came up with the number so we can have a better understanding of what the executive branch sees.
“Oklahomans shouldn’t suffer because of political power struggles between the legislature and the governor. This governor likes to remind people why Oklahomans elected him. I can say with some certainty that they didn’t elect him to cut government when he could prevent it.”