Budget Hole Grows as Republicans Ignore Responsibility
OKLAHOMA CITY – Secretary Doerflinger announced this week that the initial budget shortfall of $600 million is more accurately a $900 million budget hole. The $300 million difference is due to unavailable one-time money. Per a June 2016 report from the Oklahoma Policy Institute and House Representative Earl Sears (R-11), “60 percent to 80 percent of the budget hole is filled with non-recurring revenue, which creates a problem for next year.” The larger problem to our state’s budget crisis is a lack of diversified revenue which budget cuts and one-time money cannot resolve. The Legislature needs to concentrate their efforts on building different revenue streams if we hope to climb out of this hole in the near future.
Oklahoma has experienced two straight years of state program cuts with a Republican-Super-Majority Legislature, and we may see the third year of cuts with a looming $900 million budget shortfall. Republicans are not interested in dedicating the needed time and hard work that it takes to build a comprehensive, diversified revenue and budget strategy. Instead, they have applied quick band-aid fixes in the form of budget cuts to a gaping wound while wasting taxpayer’s money on frivolous lawsuits one after another. We cannot expect different results so long as we continue to apply the same methods year after year.
The mission of the Oklahoma Democratic Party is to represent working people in Oklahoma and the best way to accomplish that is to elect Democrats to all areas of government. Oklahoma Democrats are progressive and sensible. We are optimistic about the future, and we are determined to see Oklahoma’s traditional values upheld. More information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party can be found at www.okdlive.wpengine.com or by calling (405) 427-3366.