DALLAS — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin used her first state of the state address to lawmakers on Monday to propose a $6.33 billion budget for fiscal 2012 that covers an expected $600 million shortfall next year.
Expected revenue in fiscal 2012 totals $6.43 billion. Oklahoma’s constitution limits state spending to 95% of estimated revenue.
The proposed general fund budget includes savings of $286 million that would be realized through increased efficiencies and $200 million of reduced spending by state agencies.
Fallin’s proposal would transfer $100 million from the transportation trust fund to the general fund. To compensate the Oklahoma Department of Transportation for the loss, Fallin said she would ask lawmakers to authorize the Oklahoma Capitol Improvement Authority to issue $100 million of revenue bonds for transportation projects.
The bonds would be supported by lease payments by state agencies for office space in state-owned buildings.
The final $102 million of Oklahoma’s available federal stimulus funding is included in the spending plan, with the entire amount dedicated to Medicaid programs.
The budget plan also calls for spending the $100 million transferred last year to a cash account from the budget stabilization fund. That rainy-day fund has a current balance of $2.04.
Almost $21 million of the $100 million transferred from the rainy-day fund will be used for emergency funding in fiscal 2011.
The Corrections Department, which said it needed another $9 million this year to avoid employee furloughs, will get $3 million of supplemental funding. Another $15 million will be used to match $45 million of federal Medicaid funds.
Fallin said all state agencies would see reductions from authorized spending in fiscal 2011.
“I am asking our agency heads: resist the urge to tell the people of Oklahoma what you can’t do,” Fallin said. “Instead, tell us what you can do. Find ways to innovate and succeed.”
Finance director Preston Doerflinger said budget cuts next year will range from 3% for some high-priority areas, such as education and public safety, to 5% for most agencies.
Doerflinger said without the savings from streamlining government operations and the funds transfer, agency budgets would have been cut 8% to 10%.
The only revenue increase in the budget proposal is a plan to raise the registration fee for non-commercial vehicles. Doerflinger said a move to two-year registrations would generate $105 million a year.
Included in Fallin’s call for a more efficient, modern state government is a proposal for a uniform system for state agency financial and administrative services.
“The state of Oklahoma doesn’t need 76 bookkeeping programs,” she told lawmakers. “It just needs one.”
Fallin would also consolidate or eliminate some of the 500 state boards, agencies, and commissions to save on administrative costs and overhead.
Fallin is Oklahoma’s first female governor and its fourth Republican governor since it became a state in 1907. Republicans hold 70 of the 101 House seats and 32 of the 48 Senate seats.
This is the first time a Republican governor has had a Republican majority in the state Legislature.