Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin today released the following statement regarding sequestration and the looming federal budget cuts to the military and government agencies:
"Oklahoma agencies have had months to prepare for a reduction in federal funds. While it is still unclear how many dollars each state agency will lose, we do not expect an immediate loss in state services. Months ago, I asked my cabinet secretaries and state agency directors to plan ahead for sequestration. We believe the state is well-prepared.
"With that said, it is clear the sequester is creating a chaotic and uncertain environment for businesses looking to invest, state governments tasked with crafting budgets, and those who receive federal benefits or who work for or contract with the government. That uncertainty is bad for the economy and is destroying jobs. Furthermore, the large and seemingly haphazard cuts to military spending reduce the effectiveness of our armed services and hurt the economies of states with large military presences, such as Oklahoma.
"President Obama has said he doesn't like the sequester, but he has not laid out a viable alternative. It is now up to him to work with Congress and deliver solutions. That starts with getting serious about spending cuts.
"In Oklahoma, we faced a budget shortfall of over $500 million in 2011 -- nearly ten percent of our total budget. Like other states, we made tough choices, cut spending and worked to make state government more efficient and effective. We balanced our budget. There is no reason the federal government cannot do the same."