Oklahoma House gives final approval to FY20 budget bill
May 8, 2020
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House on Thursday passed a general spending bill and sent it to the governor, who wasn't involved in budget negotiations and hasn't indicated if he'll sign it.
The House voted 77-23 along party lines, with Democrats opposed, but the measure passed both chambers by veto-proof margins.
The $7.7 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 cuts most state agencies by 4%. Budget writers tapped into savings and agreed to temporarily divert payments to the state's public pension systems and a road-and-bridge program to prevent deeper cuts.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt said Wednesday his office was still reviewing the plan and that he hadn't decided whether to sign it.
"They write the budget," Stitt said of lawmakers. "If I don't think it's a good deal for Oklahoma, I'll veto it and explain what my problems are with the budget."
The funds being diverted from the public pension systems are additional payments the state has been making to improve their solvency, and the plan is to repay the diverted funds once the economy rebounds.
Negotiations between the governor and GOP-led Legislature broke down in March during a dispute over funding for one of the governor's priorities to upgrade the state's computer system.