Gov. Fallin: 'We are not making progress fast enough to solve our budget crisis'

Governor Fallin expresses her concerns for the state budget May 3 during a press conference at the Oklahoma State Capitol. (KOKH/Scott Noland)

Governor Mary Fallin challenged lawmakers to work together to pass legislation that would solve the state's budget shortfall.

The 2018 fiscal year budget for Oklahoma is projected to be $868 million short. Gov. Fallin was joined at the state Capitol May 3 with concerned members of Oklahoma businesses and agencies. She said that despite the shortfall, the state's core services "must be funded".

"We have a structural problem with our budget," Fallin said. "We must get busy and get our work done."

The governor blamed online sales, the multiple year downturn in the oil and gas market and a ripple down effect from revenue shortages for the status of the budget. Fallin said that legislators are running out of time to pass a budget. The legislature typically ends their session on the Friday before Memorial Day.

"Nothing has come to my desk other than minor fee increases...No substantial measures have come to my desk to bring in money," Fallin said.

Fallin claimed she is willing to veto any budget that does not address funding to core services.

"I'm willing to stay at the Capitol as long as we need to...We are talking about the education of our children. The health of our citizens. We have to deal with our problems," Fallin said.

The governor also stated that the state cannot continue to suffer through budget shortfalls.

"Oklahoma is a great place to live and we are too good to not fix these problems." Fallin said. "If you think we're going to wait and fix the budget next year, God help us."

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