Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry said last week he will ask the Legislature to expand the constitutional limit on the state’s budget stabilization fund to 15% of general fund revenues from the current level of 10%.

Henry asked for a similar increase in 2006, but lawmakers rejected the idea.

If his requested constitutional amendment had been approved by the Legislature and then by voters, Henry said, the state would have $900 million in the rainy-day fund rather than the $600 million now in it.

“It would not solve all of our problems, but it would give us more room to maneuver as we balance the budget and attempt to protect core services,” the governor said.

“Now more than ever, it’s time to expand the account and put more dollars away for future rainy days,” Henry said. “You can never go wrong by depositing more money in your savings account.”

The state expects to collect $729 million less in fiscal 2010 than was predicted when the budget was approved in early 2009.

The budget stabilization fund was established by a constitutional amendment in 1986.

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