Governor Fallin vetoes most of HB 1019X

Governor Mary Fallin on Friday evening signs paperwork vetoing most of House Bill 1019X, a revised budget bill approved by legislators in special session. She kept intact parts of the bill that temporarily preserve funding for key health and human services until lawmakers return in another special session to approve long-term funding solutions. Photo provided by the Office of Governor Mary Fallin.

Governor Mary Fallin announce a veto of most of the revised budget bill Friday night.

The bill had been approved by legislators prior to adjourning the special session. Gov. Fallin said she had kept intact temporary funding for key health and human services, until lawmakers could approve long term funding in another special session.

"House Bill 1019X does not provide a long-term solution to the re-occurring budget deficits, and within three months we will come back facing an estimated $600 million shortfall," Fallin said.

Kept intact was the $30 million appropriation for the Department of Health, which will allow continued operation through the end of the fiscal year.

The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority will receive funding for the short term.

"My action avoids immediate health and human services cuts and provides time for legislators to come back and approve revenue proposals that can provide a permanent fix," Fallin said

Reaction to Governor Fallin's veto:

House Speaker Charles McCall, House District 22:

  • "The governor's line-item veto of House Bill 1019X is a complete reversal of her promise to the Legislature and, frankly, to the people of Oklahoma. Her actions alone create uncertainty in Oklahoma for healthcare services, business investment, job creation and spending, all of which are economic drivers for our state. This veto action interjects more chaos and drama into the lives of Oklahomans at a time when they want stability. The governor could have simply kept her word and stabilized the current situation for Oklahoma by signing the bill that she promised to sign, and then she could have called the Legislature back for her second special session. Instead, the governor has chosen to make the pursuit of her own priorities superior to the those of the people of Oklahoma."

Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz, R-Altus:

  • "We are surprised by the governor’s veto. The governor’s office was involved in the negotiation of the revised budget agreement, but did not indicate the agreement was insufficient and would be vetoed. The revised budget agreement was not the Senate’s first choice to resolve the budget crisis but it was the only option after the House showed it was not able to meet the constitutional standards of raising revenue. Bringing the Legislature back into special session at this point seems like a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. The governor’s veto doesn’t help Oklahoma thrive, it only serves to throw our budget further into chaos.”

Oklahoma City Public School Superintendent Aurora Lora:

  • "Thank you, Governor Fallin, for your leadership in holding the legislature accountable for finding real solutions to our state's revenue crisis. After years of budget shortfalls, our legislators who have thus far been unwilling to join a compromise must stop passing the buck and balancing the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. Our teachers and school children cannot thrive in constant fear of budget cuts and scarcity. We must have a sustainable path forward to build Oklahoma's future."

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