Oklahoma City Members of the Senate Republican Caucus leadership team today announced a portion of their 2003 legislative agenda with a show of support for Gov. Elect Henry's campaign pledge for Zero-based budgeting.
During the 2001 legislative session H.B. 1823, which required the legislature to implement zero-based budgeting passed through the House of Representatives, but subsequently died on the floor of the State Senate.
Senate Republican Leader Sen. James Williamson (R-Tulsa) and Assistant Republican Leader Sen. Scott Pruitt (R-Broken Arrow) reaffirmed their support for the zero-based budgeting program.
The senators also stated their eagerness to get to work with Gov. Elect Henry and the legislative leadership on the implementation of the budgeting proposal and program.
"We applaud Gov. Elect Henry for pushing the zero-based budgeting program during his 2002 bid for governor. For years, Senate Republicans have pushed the cost saving measure so that elected leaders could better prioritize where every dollar is being spent," Williamson said.
"Next session, state government is going to have to make the same type of tough decisions that Oklahoma families make during lean times, prioritizing spending is good stewardship. It is impossible for state leaders to make informed choices without implementing this type of budgeting." Pruitt said.
Sen. Pruitt has filed a bill request that would require the state legislature to implement a zero-based budgeting plan by the 2003 legislative session. Republican members of the senate would like to see this bill passed early in the session so that the process can begin immediately.
Senator Pruitt's proposal would target major agencies for the zero-based analysis each year during a four-year term.
"While I support Sen. Pruitt's legislation, I encourage Gov. Elect Henry to take it a step further and implement his campaign pledge now as he prepares the budget he will present to the legislature and the citizens of the state in January," Williamson concluded.