Governor Kevin Stitt, House Speaker Charles McCall, and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat announced on Wednesday the Fiscal Year 2020 budget deal.
“This year’s budget is historic. Holding firm to my commitment of no new taxes, we will put away $200 million more in savings while also increasing the state’s investment in core services by more than five percent,” Governor Kevin Stitt said. “For the first time in state history, we will increase Oklahoma’s savings account, in order to protect core services in the future, without the law forcing it. For the first time in state history, we will give Oklahoma teachers a pay raise for a second year in a row. For the first time in state history, we will fully fund the Reading Sufficiency Act while also putting an additional $74 million into the funding formula for local classroom needs. For the first time in state history, we will fully fund our roads and bridges, and we will also make the largest deposit into the Quick Action closing fund, helping Oklahoma compete for new jobs. We will move the needle in criminal justice reform by investing in drug courts and diversion programs, and we will reform District Attorneys’ funding model so they are not reliant on high fines, fees and court costs that have created a debtor’s prison. We will prioritize funding for oversight, transparency and audits as well as funding to modernize the delivery of state services, making it customer-focused and cost efficient. Congratulations to the Legislature and leadership for their hard work; I am committed to helping carry it across the finish line as the Legislature works to send this fiscally responsible budget to my desk for signature.”
“This is an amazing budget deal that makes huge investments in classroom funding, teacher pay, mental health, corrections and other critical areas all while holding back $200 million in savings,” said President Pro Temp Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “We can make investments in core services, while still showing fiscal restraint to prepare and save for tougher economic times. Working together, we’ve accomplished an incredible amount this session. When history looks back at this session and this budget deal, it will be recorded as one of the most significant in history. I appreciate the work of the Senate appropriations chair and subcommittee chairs for their tireless and diligent work to craft this incredible budget. I also thank Governor Stitt and Speaker McCall for their leadership and willingness to work with me to ensure all of our priorities were fulfilled in this budget. It’s a great day for Oklahoma and the investments we are making in this budget will help us achieve our goal of making Oklahoma an even better state!”
“This budget agreement moves Oklahoma forward by increasing funding for education, rural infrastructure, public safety and healthcare,” said Speaker McCall, R-Atoka. “We believe increasing teacher pay directly addresses the teacher shortage by incentivizing new teachers into the classroom and keeping the veteran teachers we already have. The Legislature has now increased the common education budget by more than 26 percent during the last two years. We are also prioritizing funding for county roads and bridges, nursing homes, concurrent enrollment programs for high school juniors and seniors and pay increases for corrections officers in our prisons and all other state employees. This budget is an investment in Oklahoma, and I am very grateful for my colleagues in the House, Senate leadership and Gov. Stitt for their hard work during budget negotiations.”
Oklahoma Budget FY 2020
$200 million in Oklahoma’s savings account, putting Oklahoma on the path to storing two months of expenses, more than $1 billion, to protect core services in difficult times.
EDUCATION: $203 million increase for public education across the spectrum
$157.7 million for common education:
o On average $1,220 teacher pay raise. Compromise language has been agreed to that will require school districts on the funding formula, which is 97% of school teachers, to deliver an on average $1,220 pay raise. The compromise language will require school districts to report how those pay raises will be executed and sustained within districts, and the reports will be made available online for the public to view.
o $5.5 million for the Reading Sufficiency Act, fully funding the third-grade reading initiative for the first time in state history;
o An additional $74.3 million for local schools to use to hire additional teachers, counselors, social works or address their unique needs in their districts.
$18 million for career tech centers to increase compensation for employees and teachers
$28 million for higher education to bolster research programs and provide a salary increase for college teachers
Graduate Medical Education funding for of physician residency programs for Oklahoma’s teaching hospitals (see below in health care section)
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL OKLAHOMA
$500,000 to fund a public-private partnership to maintain clean water in Northeast Oklahoma and areas with high poultry density
$90,000 to hire an additional state veterinarian
$1.1 million for Wildfire mitigation funding and additional resources for rural fire fighters
$1.5 million to improve rural flood control dams
$37.7 million for an additional state employee pay raise of up to $1,500. This builds upon the state employee pay raises given in FY’2019 of up to $2,000 per employee.
$15 million for digital transformation of state government services to enhance transparency and make customer service more efficient and effective
$1.7 million for the creation of the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency
$700,000 to hire more auditors and increase the State Auditor’s office capability to conduct more regular audits across state agencies
ROAD AND BRIDGES
Fully funding Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s 8-year plan
Restored $30 million in funding to CIRB supporting county roads
Funding prioritization for two new trooper academies, putting an estimated 80 more troopers on the roads in 2020.
$2 per hour pay increase for correctional officers, which is a 14% raise. This will bring correctional officer pay to the regional market average and in turn will bolster the Department’s recruitment effort to fill vacancies.
$1 million to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits
$20 million to reform the funding of District Attorney offices
$10 million for Smart on Crime programs through the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
$1.5 million for the Women in Recovery diversion program
$1.7 million to address increasing demand for mental health services
JOBS / ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
$19 million for the Quick Action Closing Fund, prioritizing recruitment opportunities to grow Oklahoma
$1 million for additional job growth and economic development specifically in the automotive industry and in aerospace through the Department of Commerce’s Aerospace Commerce Economic Services (ACES) program
$1 million to assist new entrepreneurs and small business innovators through the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology
$5.3 million to modernize and expedite the Oklahoma Corporation Commissions’ permit processing for energy development
$62.8 million for Graduate Medical Education program to support physician training for rural hospitals
$105 million reallocation to increase provider rates for physicians, hospitals and nursing homes
$29 million saved to a new preservation fund to preserve Medicaid provider rates when the federal government’s 3-year rolling average results in a rate decline.
$10 million to decrease the Developmental Disability Services wait list and increase provider rates
$4.6 million to increase immunizations and staff county health departments throughout the state