Governor Orders State Agencies to Plan for Major Budget Cuts
Every state agency is now under an executive order from Governor Mary Fallin, to make plans to operate with cuts of 10 percent in what she terms, "non-essential spending" for this fiscal year and for fiscal year 2017.
The Governor also wants to know how the money saved can be put to use shoring up other essential needs within each agency. The written spending cut plans are required to be turned in by the first of December.
The order also places a ban on nonessential, taxpayer-funded, out of state travel for all state employees and requires advanced written notice of any state payment for memberships in any private or public organizations, any non-essential out of state travel that is paid for by an entity other than the state and non-emergency purchases over $10,000.
There is growing concern that the combination of tax cuts, tax exemptions and credits, coupled with reduced tax income from oil and gas operations, sales taxes and income taxes could prompt a revenue failure for state government this fiscal year and leave the state facing a billion dollar budget hole for fiscal year 2017.