State Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee said a bloated budget proposal put forth by Senate Democrats shortchanges taxpayers and is little more than political posturing in an election year. The budget proposal increases the size of the state budget by nearly 20 percent compared to the budget from two years ago.
“Senate Democrat leaders admitted today that this bill does not leave enough money for the meaningful tax cuts already passed by the Senate, and their Appropriations Committee chairman admitted on the floor that this bill is little more than political posturing,” said Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.
“Senate Republicans believe the time has come for common sense leadership in the Oklahoma State Senate – something that is sorely lacking right now,” Coffee said. “Instead of recklessly predicting budget train wrecks and special sessions, Senate Democrats should roll up their sleeves and help Republicans govern this state.”
Senate Bill 2351, the Senate Democrats’ budget bill, passed the Senate on a 27-19 vote Wednesday, mostly along party lines.
Coffee predicted that if Senate Democrats show a little common sense, a bipartisan agreement can be reached to provide $200 million or more in tax relief; take care of priorities like education, roads and bridges, and public safety; and still hold the line on overall spending.
Coffee noted that Republicans were concerned that the Democrats’ budget focuses too much funding on state welfare programs while shortchanging tax relief, public safety, and transportation.
HB 2351 – Senate Democrats’ General Appropriations Bill
A bloated, fiscally irresponsible budget.
- The Senate Democrats’ bloated GA bill increases the size of state government by 20% over the past two years.
- The Senate Democrats’ GA bill leaves just $79.3 million in General Revenue for tax relief and other budget priorities.
Table 1 (Comparison of Funding, FY '05 - FY '07)
Table 2 (Senate Democrats' Bloated Budget)