Governor Kevin Stitt announced today the State of Oklahoma is expected to experience a revenue failure of approximately $416 million for the remainder of fiscal year 2020 which ends June 30.
“This revenue failure is not unexpected given the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the dramatic downturn in the oil and gas markets,” said Gov. Stitt. “Times like these further reinforce how critically important it was for our House and Senate leadership to work with me to save an additional $200 million during last year’s budget surplus.”
Under normal circumstances, this revenue failure would automatically result in 6.2% budget cuts to all state agencies. However, Gov. Stitt has called for a special virtual meeting of the Board of Equalization at 1 p.m. Monday to begin the formal procedures necessary for the state legislature to tap into the state’s savings account.
The State of Oklahoma’s Rainy Day Fund currently has a balance of $806 million, up to $302 million of which is constitutionally available to the legislature to supplement the FY20 budget. Additionally, due to the governor’s declaration of an emergency, the legislature is authorized to access an additional 25% of the Rainy Day Fund, or $201 million.
Gov. Stitt and his administration have been in communication with House and Senate leadership and are working on the best plan to mitigate any potential cuts to state agencies.
“When our health department officials, public safety workers, emergency responders and so many others are working tirelessly to help the people of Oklahoma, I want everyone to know that we will prioritize protecting our core services for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.” said Gov. Stitt.
“As the last few weeks have demonstrated, it will take time to fully understand the impact COVID-19 will have on our state revenue. We must be very cautious and remain fiscally prudent to restrain spending as we work with the legislature on next year’s budget.”