Budget & Tax, Good Government

Lawmakers vote to increase state’s unfunded liability

House lawmakers have voted to increase benefit payments to some state government retirees, but have chosen not to provide an appropriation to fund the additional expense. Instead, lawmakers voted to raid pension system assets to cover the cost of the higher monthly payments, which will reduce the systems’ solvency, and they advanced the bill despite lacking any firm estimate of the associated cost.

Ray Carter
February 28, 2020
Budget & Tax, Health Care

Hospital tax may not cover Medicaid expansion costs

Gov. Kevin Stitt has endorsed Medicaid expansion and urged lawmakers to enact a de facto tax increase to pay for it. A related funding measure was placed on a Feb. 26 committee agenda for a morning vote, but the committee did not convene. The reasons for the delay were not immediately revealed, but challenges continue to surround the tax-increase proposal, ranging from the fact that it will not generate enough revenue to cover the state cost of Medicaid expansion to suggestions the proposal may be illegal .

Ray Carter
February 26, 2020
Budget & Tax

State savings could increase

Less than two years removed from a series of major state shortfalls, members of a Senate committee have voted to raise the cap on a state government savings fund, advancing a key priority of Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Ray Carter
February 21, 2020
Budget & Tax, Law & Principles

Lawmakers advance funding transparency measure

Attempting to build on reforms enacted last year, members of a Senate committee voted Wednesday to require increased public reporting on the use of federal funds by state and local governments in Oklahoma.

Ray Carter
February 12, 2020
Budget & Tax, Health Care

Bill would save state money, then give savings to tribal governments

Oklahoma state government could generate millions of dollars in savings by cost-shifting Medicaid costs to the federal government, but half of state government savings would then be given to tribal governments under legislation approved by a Senate committee on Monday.

Ray Carter
February 11, 2020
Budget & Tax

Stitt emphasizes government restraint—with one big exception

In his second State of the State address, Gov. Kevin Stitt mostly urged fiscal restraint, calling for increased state savings and agency consolidation, but he also promoted a tax/fee increase to fund a major expansion of welfare through Medicaid.

Ray Carter
February 4, 2020
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