The Oklahoma Legislature returns to the Capitol on February 1st for its 2016 session. The budget crises will take up much of its time as Oklahoma adjusts to the 2016 mid-year revenue failure, and the 2017 budget must be prepared and approved.
On January 14, Preston Doerflinger, Oklahoma’s chief financial officer, projected a $900 million loss in general revenue for the 2017 budget that begins on July 1st.
February Unit Meeting Details :
Mid-town and Breakfast Unit Meetings: “A Look at Oklahoma’s Budget Process – and suggested improvements”
Mid-town Unit: Tuesday, February 16, 11:30 to 1 pm. Meetings are on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the League office, 3336 E. 32nd. Lunch and visitation start at 11:30 (bring your own sandwich). Meeting is at 12:00 pm.
Breakfast Unit: Tuesday, February 23, 7 to 8 am. Meetings are on the 4th Tuesday of the month at the New Atlas Grill, located in the Courtyard Tulsa downtown, 415 S. Boston Ave.
(Meeting materials for both the Mid-town and Breakfast Units may be found below.)
The North Tulsa Unit will continue its year-long study, “Re-Entry into Society after Prison”. The topic for February is “Housing Barriers”.
The North Tulsa Unit will meet Monday, February 22, (the 4th Monday of the month) noon to 1:00 pm, at the Rudisill Library, 1520 N. Hartford. Join the discussion on Housing Barriers for our citizens who Re-Enter Society after Prison. (Meeting materials may be found below.)
Get Involved. Be in the Know. Join us at one of the Unit Meetings. Educated and informed voters are the key to our democracy.
The Breakfast and Mid-town Units:
Discussion Topic: “A Look at Oklahoma’s Budget Process – and suggested improvements”
Quote from Johnathan Small, Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs, Daily Oklahoman 6-6-15.
“What’s interesting is that lots of people are on different sides of the issue on whether government has enough money, but people on both sides of the ideological spectrum agree that Oklahoma’s budget process is not open and doesn’t facilitate good long-term decision making.”
Study materials include 3 articles:
The first article was in the Sunday, January 3, Tulsa World. Written by Dan Millican, a member of the World’s Community Advisory Board, it is titled: State Need Long Range Financial Planning. : http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/readersforum/don-millican-state-need-long-range-financial-planning/article_621898b1-fc25-5bb2-a758-de8c228b128b.html?_dc=445471739163.62225
Mr. Millican refers to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in his article. Following is an article from the Center’s site. It is an interesting article with interactive materials and charts: http://www.cbpp.org/research/state-budget-and-tax/better-state-budget-planning-can-help-build-healthier-economies
And, finally, here is a link to an article by Preston Doerflinger, Oklahoma Secretary of Finance and Revenue, Director, Office of Management and Enterprise Services, (OMES). This article, “How The Budget Is Prepared”, was included in the pre-conference Oklahoma Academy Town Hall reading material: http://www.okacademy.org/PDFs/2015Research.pdf This is a 200 page booklet. Please see pages 24 and 25.
February Discussion Questions:
- What changes in the Oklahoma budget process is Don Millican suggesting?
- From where does Oklahoma’s revenue come – is the revenue forcast process clear, credible, transparent, and do the executive and legislative branches agree on the revenue estimates?
- How does Oklahoma forcast its spending costs for budget planning?
- What are your thoughts about the Oklahoma budget process?