The Federal economic stimulus package just approved by Congress is now awaiting President Bushs signature. The proposal includes 20 billion for state governments across the nation.
The package is critical to Oklahoma and other states facing huge budget shortfalls, said Senator Angela Monson, President of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The 20 billion state aid plan earmarks 0 billion for Medicaid and 0 billion for states to use at their discretion. Oklahomas total share of that package is estimated to be approximately 2 million.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has always said that any successful economic recovery plan must recognize the importance of states in economic recovery. Thats what this agreement does, explained Monson, DOKC.
Senator Monson said Oklahomas budget shortfall, which is nearly 00 million, is only part of a bigger economic picture.
Nationwide, states are facing a collective 3. billion budget gap for fiscal year 200. This is due to a national economic downturn that was dramatically worsened as a direct result of the terrorist attacks of September th, explained Monson. The situation was worsened by corporate failures such as Enron.
The shortfalls have forced many state legislatures to consider costcutting measures such as layoffs, acrosstheboard cuts and other measures that would ultimately hamper economic recovery efforts.
Like the federal government, states are dedicated to getting the nations economy back on track. We stand ready to work with Congress, the Bush administration and the private sector to do our share to achieve this goal, said Monson.
In the meantime, these funds can help keep many, many Americans, including citizens right here in Oklahoma, from losing vital services such as medical care and hopefully help soften the impact of other cuts that could prove devastating to the public.