On paper, it looks like two environmental agencies received funding boosts, but a closer look at the numbers shows the increases aren’t what they appear.
Oklahoma State Budget
Feb 7 – Session starts
Step 1 – Agencies Submit Budget Request (Oct-Dec)
The Oklahoma budget cycle begins on the agency level. Agencies determine what their financial needs are for the following fiscal year and file a formal Budget Request with the Office of State Finance by Oct. 1
Step 2 – Request Review by Office of State Finance
The OSF reviews each Budget Request and, with the Governor’s office, makes recommendations to the agency.
Step 3 – Funding Estimation Starts (Dec 24-Jan 1)
The State Board of Equalization determines the amount of funding available for appropriation.
Step 4 – Governor Submits Budget (Due Feb 6)
Taking into account the OSF review of agency Budget Requests, the Governor’s must submit a balanced budget to the state legislature.
Step 5 – Funding Estimation Certified
Step 6 – House and Senate Appropriations Committees Begin Review of Agency Budget Requests (Feb-Apr)
Step 7 – Appropriations Committees Set Agency Budgets and Pass Appropriations Bills
Step 8 – Governor Considers Bills (May-June)
Step 9 – Governor Signs Bills
Office of State Finance
Oklahoma Tax Commission
Oklahoma State Treasurer
Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector
Oklahoma State Board of Equalization
Oct. 1 – Agency submits Budget Request
How the cycle works:
In March, the legislature asked state agencies how they would deal with worst-case budget reductions of nearly 15 percent. A cut that deep at the Department of Tourism could cost Oklahoma half of its state parks.
State Representative Leslie Osborn is the new chair of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee, an influential position that gives her bills extra weight. StateImpact talked to Osborn about legislation she’s pushing to increase mining fees, and to explore the sale of the Grand River Dam Authority.
Oil prices are on the rebound, which should eventually generate revenue and help Oklahoma’s state budget situation. Still, another budget hole — that could be as large as $600 million — will likely have to be filled during the 2017 legislative session.
Why Killing the Agency Protecting Oklahoma’s Most Delicate Rivers Might Be the Only Way to Preserve Them
Dripping Springs State Park won’t be a state park much longer.
A proper town needs a reliable sewer system. So tiny Corn, Oklahoma, has a big problem.
It’s up to the state to make sure Oklahoma’s lakes and rivers are safe, but budget cuts are threatening that mission.
Oil and gas are endangering the state’s streams, soil, and wetlands. Not by polluting them — that’s a different argument — but because plummeting oil prices have blown a billion dollar hole in Oklahoma’s budget.