Legislative leaders unveil budget proposal that includes 4% cuts to most state agencies

Leaders of Oklahoma’s Legislature have agreed to a $7.7 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes cuts of 4% for most state agencies.

Under the budget proposal, public schools face a funding cut of $78 million, or 2.5%, that legislators say can be fully filled with $200 million in federal funding for common education given to Oklahoma through the CARES Act.

But education officials say cuts to the state’s funding formula will be closer to 5%, and CARES Act funding won’t be able to fill all the budget holes.

Lawmakers crafted the budget that is $238 million, or 3% less, than the current year’s budget around a projected revenue shortfall of $1.3 billion due to low oil prices and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state budget. Gov. Kevin Stitt previously predicted cuts of 7.5% to most state agencies would be necessary for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

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