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Newberry files debt reduction proposal

Sen. Dan Newberry Sen. Dan Newberry

Sen. Dan Newberry has filed legislation aimed at reducing Oklahoma’s long term fiscal burden by guaranteeing a percentage of spillover funding is dedicated toward paying the state’s pension liability debt.

Senate Bill 1264 would take effect after the state’s Rainy Day Fund is full. The measure would then ensure that 33 percent of any spillover funding is applied toward the reduction of pension liability debt. Once pension liability is funded at 80 percent, the same percentage of spillover funding would be dedicated to reducing the state’s bonded indebtedness.

“Faced with budget shortfalls, the Legislature in recent years has streamlined state government and reduced waste,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “With recovery on the horizon, it only makes sense that we also focus on assuring the long-term fiscal viability of state government. With capital fleeing other states that have failed to control their long-term debts, it’s important we take action to prevent such a scenario.”

Newberry noted that while recent reforms have set the state on a path toward long-term fiscal stability, his proposal would further strengthen Oklahoma’s retirement systems.

“In order to assure our long-term economic health, we must reduce our debt,” Newberry said. “When debt grows, taxes grow. We want to grow jobs and one of the nation’s strongest economies. Proposals like this are an important part of that effort.”

Rep. Randy McDaniel said pension reform will protect Oklahoma from the financial problems many other states have faced.

“Reducing our pension liability debt is critical to ensure the long-term viability of the state pension system,” said McDaniel, R-Oklahoma City. “This legislation ensures that we take care of our past obligations before new spending proposals are considered.”

Contact info
Sen. Newberry: (405) 521-5600