The full Senate has given its approval to a bill that will reform the budgeting process to align resources with state priorities and measurable outcomes. Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, and Rep. Dennis Casey, R-Morrison, are the principal Senate and House authors of Senate Bill 189, the Performance Informed Budget and Transparency Act of 2015, which was approved on Wednesday.
We appropriated funds in 2012 for software to lay the groundwork for this new process, said Sharp, R-Shawnee. Senate Bill 189 will implement the new system with the goal of ensuring dollars are appropriated based on priorities and programs that have resulted in positive outcomes for Oklahoma.
Gov. Mary Fallin and her cabinet have worked with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services the last few years on creating the Performance Informed Budgeting system. Part of that process included creation of the website OKStateStat.ok.gov, which features 160 key, measurable objectives for state government. Once fully implemented, Oklahoma will become the first state in the nation to develop a comprehensive budgeting system that ties spending to measurable goals and outcomes.
The current challenges we are facing simply underscore the need for meaningful reform in the budget process. From the initial certification by the State Board of Equalization in December to the final certification this month, we saw the shortfall more than double to some $611 million, Sharp said. This is a tool to better assist us as we strive to make state agencies as efficient as possible, and make sure all of the programs and services we fund really do merit continued support, Sharp said.
SB 189 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.