Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller said last week that he was disappointed with the $6.5 billion state budget for fiscal 2012 approved last week by the Legislature.
“The disappointment stems from the institutional budget process rather than the capable and well-intentioned individuals at the negotiating table,” according to Miller.
“This agreement is particularly disappointing because it is the first time in Oklahoma history that a budget has been crafted with complete Republican control and yet it falls short,” said the state treasurer, himself a Republican. “This was our first real opportunity to right-size government, implement priority-based budgeting, and to prove commitment to public education.”
Miller, who was elected to the statewide post in November 2010, said legislators should focus on funding essential services and functions, and eliminate the rest.
He also called for the sale of “nonessential state assets” to pay down existing debt.
“Even with large GOP margins in the House and Senate and no veto threat from an opposite party governor, the status quo prevailed again,” Miller said. “Nonessential programs continue to siphon taxpayer resources away from core areas critical to our state’s success rather than be directed into areas of highest return.”