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Fallin Suggests Overhauling Budget Process And Use Of Dedicated Tax Revenue

Governor Mary Fallin

Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she hopes to work with lawmakers on what she called an “overhaul” of the state’s budgeting process.

“We need to look at making fundamental changes in our budgeting process, even how the Legislature runs its legislative session,” Fallin said following Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Equalization. “In other words, I think we need to focus more on the budget and revenue streams and even possibly look at doing budgeting every year but maybe doing substantive legislation session every other year.”

It was not the first time Fallin has suggested changes in the budgeting process. One year ago, she and Preston Doerflinger, her secretary of finance, administration and information services and chief budget advisory, began talking about the need to review the amount of money taken “off-the-top.”

That is the share of tax money that is dedicated to specific uses and is not deposited in the General Revenue Fund. The General Revenue Fund is the primary source of money for the state’s appropriated budget.

Fallin wants access to the tax dollars that are dedicated to specific uses. The legislature used some of those dedicated funds in 2014 to bolster the official budget and was criticized by Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General who said in two different opinions that it was unconstitutional to use dedicated tax revenue for general appropriations.


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