Sen. Patrick Anderson today called upon the Governor to intervene and stop the proposed transfer of $2 million from the budget of the state Department of Agriculture to the Oklahoma Youth Expo.
The budget proposal approved this year by the Legislature increased appropriations to the State Department of Agriculture by $2 million. Anderson said the funds apparently were not intended to be used by the Department of Agriculture, but instead were to be diverted to the Oklahoma Youth Expo – a private livestock show held annually in Oklahoma City.
“The budget bill passed by the Legislature contains no language about the funds being spent on the Oklahoma Youth Expo,” said Anderson, R-Enid. “Therefore, the only way the funds can be spent on the Youth Expo is for the Department of Agriculture to be directed by the Governor to spend those funds on this project through the agency’s Budget Work Program.”
Anderson said the transfer of taxpayer dollars to a private charity, without the transparency demanded by the normal budgeting process, leaves state government open to the appearance of impropriety.
“The Oklahoma Youth Expo is a fine event, but it is not appropriate for the state to spend $2 million of the taxpayers’ money to support it,” Anderson said. “The Governor has the authority to direct that these funds be spent on the Youth Expo – but she also has the authority to stop this. I hope she chooses to do the latter.”