Governor Mary Fallin today commented on the Oklahoma Board of Equalization certified revenue figures. According to the board, the governor will have approximately $7 billion in revenue to craft her budget for fiscal year 2014, an increase of $214.6 million, or 3.1 percent, from the previous year. However, the governor cautioned that fiscal uncertainty in Washington, D.C., called into question the availability of those funds.
Among the highlights, the figures show that Oklahoma K-12 schools will get an extra $78.6 million in the next fiscal year through the House Bill 1017 Education Reform Revolving Fund. Additionally, current revenue estimates indicate the state will deposit $66.4 million into the Rainy Day Fund (RDF), bringing the current balance of $577.5 million to approximately $643 million, the largest balance in the fund's history.
"The certification of an additional $214 million in revenue is another sign Oklahoma's economy is on the right track, but the availability of those funds is called into question by the fiscal uncertainty in Washington," Fallin said. "It's increasingly clear that state agencies must be prepared to deal with budget cuts from the federal government."
"Despite the fiscal mess in Washington, however, this certification does bring good news, especially for education. Oklahoma's schools are on track to receive an estimated $78 million in additional funding this year, helping them to get more dollars into the classroom to help our students. Education remains a top priority for my administration and we will continue to pursue policies to improve student achievement and build a more skilled and talented workforce."
"Today's certification also sets the stage for a historic high for Oklahoma's savings account, the Rainy Day Fund. When I first took office, the Rainy Day Fund had only $2.03. Thanks to our state's economic growth, along with conservative fiscal policies, the fund's balance has swelled to more than $577 million and is expected to reach an all-time historic high next year of more than $600 million."