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Oklahoma budget negotiators kept 2012 fiscal year in mind

Oklahoma budget negotiators kept 2012 fiscal year in mind

Even though the Democratic governor and GOP legislative leaders won’t be at the state Capitol next year, they worked to leave some funds available for the next governor and House and Senate leaders.

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Oklahoman / Published: May 23, 2010

The main architects of the state’s proposed $6.7 billion budget for the upcoming 2011 fiscal year — all of whom are serving their final year in office — left some money for their successors, who are expected to face a difficult task developing a state budget for the next fiscal year.

The 2011 fiscal year budget, which will be on the governor’s desk this week for his signature, is for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

"All of us had a sense of responsibility as far as where we were leaving things,” said state Treasurer Scott Meacham, Democratic Gov. Brad Henry’s chief budget adviser. "So it wasn’t like we just wanted to cut a deal and get out of town. We were very concerned about next year and making sure we were posturing next year in a good place,” Meacham said.

Brad Henry and GOP legislative leaders Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee of Oklahoma City and House Speaker Chris Benge of Tulsa, used the remaining $540 million in federal stimulus funds given the state last year and drained most of the remaining money in the state’s savings account to make up a $1.2 billion budget hole in the 2011 budget... FULL ARTICLE


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