Statement by Senator Cal Hobson,
Senate President Pro Tempore Designate
"Unfortunately, the latest estimate confirms what we suspected. It is going to be difficult to weather the revenue losses of this fiscal year and it's not going to get much better in the next fiscal year. There are some encouraging signs in the revenue estimate for next fiscal year, but those indicators certainly do not diminish the budget challenge that we are facing.
"As the financial outlook has deteriorated month by month, we have done our best to prepare for the worst, but no matter how much planning you do, it's difficult to absorb budget problems of this magnitude. To say that we have our work cut out for us is an understatement at best.
"I look forward to working with Governor-elect Henry and legislative leaders of both parties to draft a bipartisan solution to our budget challenges. In recent months we have been working with school officials and agency heads to develop short-term, stopgap measures, trying to minimize the disruption caused by the ongoing budget cuts. We will continue that work, in addition to discussing long-term solutions to the revenue problems.
"Although a lot of ideas are floating around, I think it's far too early to say how we might dig ourselves out of this budget hole because frankly, I don't think anyone has any hard and fast answers yet. By working together and listening to the people of Oklahoma in the weeks to come, I am confident that we will ultimately be able to draft a solution that everyone can support."