A 'cash and cuts' plan could end special session

The Oklahoma State Capitol dome as seen from the 4th floor rotunda. (KOKH/Jordann Lucero)

Tuesday, budget committees at the Oklahoma State Capitol will consider the state's general appropriations bill.

The version of HB 1019 filed for the committees to review, is a "cash and cuts" plan.

The new GA bill mostly takes a mix of Rainy Day Fund money, revolving funds, and carry-over money to fill some of the budget deficit. It would then require most state agencies to take a smaller cut of about two percent.

Lawmakers were called to special session on September 25, mostly to find a way to fill a $215 million budget shortfall created when the State Supreme Court ruled the legislature passed a cigarette tax in an unconstitutional way.

According to early calculations by the Oklahoma Policy Institute, HB 1019 would plug all but $30 million in the state budget.

Governor Mary Fallin said she was not a proponent of a plan like this one.

"We can't keep kicking the can down the road. We can't keep reaching into revolving funds, which are limited. They don't always replenish the same amount that they do every year," she told FOX 25.

She said if this plan is passed, lawmakers will start the regular legislative session in February with a half-billion-dollar deficit.

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