Late Tuesday afternoon in a Capitol press conference, Governor Mary Fallin and legislative leaders announced an agreement on the FY 2012 budget.
The budget addresses a $500 million shortfall with targeted cuts. Under the agreement, cuts to state agencies vary, generally ranging from one to nine percent. For the first time in several years, education was also cut, with common education reduced by 4.1 percent and higher education lowered by 5.8 percent.
“[This budget] makes tough, but realistic spending cuts while shielding government priorities from the highest reductions,” said Fallin at the press conference.
According to the press release, the agreement lessens the cuts to the Department of Corrections, preventing further furloughs. The budget allocation for the Department of Human Services is only 1.1 percent below last year’s appropriation. OPEA is looking into the effect reduced federal Medicaid matching funds will have on the DHS budget. The hope is that the level of funding will prevent a reduction-in-force (RIF) or furloughs.
“We knew this would be a tough budget year,” said OPEA Executive Director. “We are pleased that the sacrifices were shared across all functions of government. The Association will be working with agencies over the next few weeks to ensure the impact on state employees and critical services is lessened and contractors take their fair share of the cuts in agency budgets.”
To view the spreadsheet with proposed budget allocations, click here.