OAFP Legislative Update
At the start of the sixth week in special session, the Oklahoma Legislature appears to be heading toward plan B to fix the budget, moving away from a $1.50 cigarette tax and other revenue raising measures after failing to vote them off the floor and out of committee.
The House voted on measures Monday to use Rainy Day funds and carry over funds to raise about $106 million, which does not fill the $215 million hole left when the Supreme Court declared the cigarette fee passed during legislative session unconstitutional. The Senate has not yet voted on the floor on these measures.
Because the funds do not fill the deficit, agencies are still likely to have to make cuts. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority announced earlier this month that it could have provider rate cuts of up to 9 percent, however, that was before the legislature voted upon the use of cash and Rainy Day funds. It remains to be seen exactly what cuts will be necessary. The OAFP will keep you updated.
Dawn Watson, Legislative Consultant