The signing of Senate Bill 1600 completed the last legislative budget of Gov. Mary Fallin’s time in office. This is a good time to look back on how state appropriations have changed over the last eight years.
Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 was the first appropriated budget signed by Gov. Fallin; it totaled $6.8 billion (all numbers adjusted for inflation). Over the next few years, the appropriated budget grew along with total state revenues at a time when the price in oil was more than $100 per barrel.
Appropriations peaked in FY 2014 at $7.9 billion, just before the drop in oil prices began. When the price of oil plummeted, Oklahoma’s economy began to suffer, as Oklahomans lost $13 billion in taxable income. This resulted in a decrease in state revenues as well as state appropriations.
As Oklahoma dealt with a statewide recession, over the next few years appropriations fell back to $6.8 billion for fiscal years 2017 and 2018.
Over the last ten months, Oklahoma’s economy has begun to recover with revenues collected by the state routinely beating the estimates. The improved economy, along with recent tax increases, have given the Legislature enough money to appropriate the second-largest appropriation (at $7.6 billion) in Gov. Fallin’s eight-year term. Only 2014 appropriations will have been higher (at a time when oil prices exceeded $100 per barrel compared to the $70 per barrel price today). This $7.6 billion appropriated budget is 10% higher than when Gov. Fallin signed her first budget in 2012.