Democrat Leaders Suspected of Trying to Engineer Government Shutdown With ‘Unrealistic’ Budget Proposal
Senate Republican leaders Tuesday unveiled a compromise budget proposal in an effort to head off what appears to be an effort by Democrat leaders to engineer a shutdown of state government. Senate Republicans hope to repeat their efforts in 2003, when they helped broker a bipartisan budget agreement during the budget shortfall after proposing their own compromise budget.
“We are very concerned that the Senate leadership and Gov. Henry are trying to follow Bill Clinton’s playbook from the mid-1990s – to shut down the government and then try to blame Republicans for it,” stated Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.
“The Senate Democrats’ budget proposal is an unrealistic expansion of government at nearly four times inflation and population growth. Right now they’re the kids in the candy store ready to blow their entire allowance, so we’re trying to bring them back to reality,” Coffee said.
“The Senate Republican leadership today is releasing a compromise general appropriations proposal that provides a basic budget for state government, yet leaves several hundred million dollars to provide significant tax relief this year and to meet additional budget needs should they arise. We could easily provide $200 million or more in tax relief this year if our budget is adopted, while still adequately funding state government” stated Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, who helped draft the proposal along with Sen. Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher.
Johnson stated, “Our hope is that the Democrat leadership will seize this opportunity to reach a bipartisan compromise that guarantees basic funding levels for state government next year and prevents the possibility of a government shutdown this summer. We can get it done this week if they’re willing to work with us.”
The Senate Republican leadership’s budget is the leanest proposal introduced so far this legislative session – calling for basic spending of $5.759 billion in FY-06. The budget includes record funding for education, and meets obligations such as teacher salaries and insurance, replacement of lost federal Medicaid matching funds, bond debt owed by the Department of Transportation, and pay raises for state employees
Senate GOP Budget Summary