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House Speaker responds to release of March state collections

House Speaker responds to release of March state collections

CONTACT: Jennifer Monies, Press Secretary
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Office of House Speaker Chris Benge
405-962-7679
jenniferm@okhouse.gov

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 13, 2010) — "The last couple of months of collections have shown some improvement, and I am hopeful that we have reached the bottom of this revenue decline," said House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa.

"However, we still have a certified shortfall for FY11 of $1.2 billion, so any improvement likely will not influence the writing of the 2011 budget. We still have many tough decisions ahead of us and will continue to work in a bipartisan and fiscally responsible way as we work to equalize expenditures with reduced collections.

"In order to replace stimulus and Rainy Day funds spent in FY10 and FY11, we would need to have record revenue growth to fill a huge hole in our state budget for FY12. Today, Treasurer Meacham laid out a very optimistic financial picture for our state, based on a few months of improved revenues. Unfortunately, natural gas prices have not rebounded and there is no clear sign that they will anytime soon, which will continue to heavily impact our collections. It is our job as appropriators to plan for the worst and hope for the best."

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