OCPA Statement on Special Session Budget Deal
After the Oklahoma Legislature today approved a budget deal that will end the special session, OCPA President Jonathan Small released the following statement:
“The Legislature did the right thing by utilizing surplus funds and other available resources rather than raising taxes on working Oklahoma families and small businesses. After the loss of $215 million in expected cigarette tax money, policymakers only needed to address revenue failures for three core agencies during this special session.
“This special session was a reminder that, even with total state spending at an all-time high, government will always ask for more money. Leading up to and during the special session, well-paid state government agency heads resorted to threatening many of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable citizens.
“Meanwhile, subsidies remained in place for out-of-state wind companies, Hollywood filmmakers, and other non-essential programs. There’s also plenty of misguided, non-critical spending in agencies like TSET. And, given the recent troubles surrounding one of Oklahoma’s largest and most powerful regulatory agencies, it is incumbent upon lawmakers to pump the brakes on any more tax increases until performance audits and true reforms can be completed.
“Oklahoma families have to live within their means and make tough choices, as do state policymakers. Using so-called ‘one-time’ funds in state government is not ideal, but it’s better than raising taxes on working Oklahomans.”