Following is an excerpt from OCPA’s Proposed State Budget for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2013.
With Oklahoma government spending at an all-time high (see chart), the time has come to set priorities and to exercise spending discipline.
The Physician Manpower Training Commission (PMTC) should operate completely from self-generated funds, local government funds, and donations, without receiving state appropriations. The PMTC, according to its website, exists “to enhance medical care in rural and underserved areas of the state by administering residency, internship, and scholarship incentive programs that encourage medical and nursing personnel to practice in rural and underserved areas. Further, PMTC is to upgrade the availability of health care services by increasing the number of practicing physicians, nurses, and physician assistants in rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma.” These efforts are intensely local functions focused on local workforce training and recruitment. These efforts should be directly funded and supported by the local governments and the users who benefit, not through the statewide subsidization of one specific industry. Further, significant tax relief for Oklahomans, with the associated economic growth and the increase in local revenues, provides a better opportunity for local communities to become self-sufficient and to operate local workforce recruitment programs.
The potential savings from implementing such reforms would be more than $4.3 million annually.
Submitted each year by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Inc. to the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma and their elected Officials, the OCPA “Budget Book” is carefully crafted by Fiscal Policy Director Jonathan Small to help lawmakers set priorities and exercise spending discipline while creating a state budget that respects your family budget. Offering unmatched fiscal policy analysis and recommendations, Small draws on his experiences as a former budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, former fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and former director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department to provide perspective on the state budget that you cannot find anywhere else.