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Oklahoma Senate Takes Initial Budget Step – What’s Next?

Oklahoma Senate Passes Budget Resolution Based on $14 Billion Certified Revenue

Bipartisan Divide Evident as Oklahoma Senate Approves Budget Resolution

The Oklahoma Senate has taken a significant step in budget negotiations by passing a resolution on Monday. This resolution is based on nearly $14 billion certified by the Board of Equalization for appropriations, excluding revenue from the state’s grocery tax. Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, explained that about $11.6 billion of this revenue is recurring. The resolution also includes a cut of $312.9 million in grocery tax revenue, according to Treat.

The budget plan divides funds for different areas, with more than $5.7 billion designated for education. This includes substantial allocations to the State Department of Education, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Additionally, over $2.2 billion is set aside for health and social services, with a significant portion directed towards the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. While Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, emphasizes the importance of meeting Oklahomans’ needs, Senator Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, raises concerns about whether there is adequate funding for crucial areas such as education and public safety.

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Senate’s Budget Transparency Efforts Praised Amid Concerns Over Proposed Budget

The Senate’s budget transparency efforts have been commended, aiming to enhance accountability and public trust in fiscal decision-making. However, with concerns raised by some senators, including Hicks, about aspects of the proposed budget, further deliberations are anticipated as the resolution moves to the House for consideration.

READ ALSO: Albany Democrats Unveil Outlandish Budget: A Fiscal Folly Or Progressive Panacea?

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