State lawmakers, Stitt at odds over bills to address revenue shortfall

A week ago Monday, lawmakers donning masks and gloves in groups smaller than 10 worked in the state Capitol to address the state’s $416 million revenue shortfall.

But politics and undisclosed technical issues appeared to shadow some of the day’s success with confusion and tension.

The House and Senate both passed three budget bills that would pull over $500 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to keep state agencies from having funding cuts this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic and a sharp decline in the oil and gas industry caused the state to have a revenue shortfall for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The way the bills were written, the state would have some flexibility in doling out additional dollars if the revenue shortfall got worse in the coming weeks without legislators having to spend more time at the Capitol amid the crisis.

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