Oklahoma’s economy declined in 2020, and tax collections were down by $520.9 million from 2019, according to State Treasurer Randy McDaniel.
And yet, state agencies have requested an additional $717 million compared to last year, according to data provided by the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES). That is a 9 percent increase over last year’s $7.8 billion appropriation.
One of the biggest requests came from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. Due to the adoption of Medicaid expansion through State Question 802, Oklahoma will have at least $164 million in new expenses over last year (although Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Roger Thompson has called the $164 million estimate a “best-case scenario” and warned that actual costs could be higher).
The Oklahoma State Department of Education was also ambitious. Despite being held relatively harmless during last year’s budget cuts, as well as receiving a large portion of (largely unspent) federal stimulus money, the OSDE requested an additional $191 million.