OKLAHOMA CITY - Statement from Senator Cal Hobson, Vice-chairman of Senate Appropriations Committee:
"Governor Keating is just looking for excuses to veto the higher education budget. He's made it clear time and time again that he's no friend of public education, especially when it comes to our state colleges and universities. Everyone remembers that one of his first official duties in office was to propose a $15 million cut to higher education.
All his talk about droughts, one-time moneys and budget shortfalls is just a smoke screen designed to hide Governor Keating's reluctance to fund higher education at an acceptable level.
All the economists, most recently Bob Dauffenbach of the University of Oklahoma, have projected continued economic growth in the coming year. Furthermore, our preliminary analysis indicates that the losses from the drought won't have a significant impact on our overall state budget next year. We're in good financial shape for this fiscal year and next.
The bottom line is Governor Keating and his lieutenants, most notably Tom Daxon, are trying to manufacture a budget crisis that doesn't exist so they can veto higher education funding. Any such veto would be devastating to higher education and our economic development efforts, but that's apparently the course of action the Governor is preparing to take."
Timothy S. Linville, Media Specialist, (405) 521-5698