Kitchen Table Plan

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When economic times are tough at your home, it’s likely that your family will gather around the kitchen table to have a hard discussion of what has to be paid for and what the family can do without for the short term.  

Sometimes the choices are tough - no more eating out, canceling cable and internet, or canceling ballet classes for your child. Maybe you might have to go down to just one car.

But your family works together and figures out how to live within their means.  Never once is there a discussion to go take money from your neighbor to pay the bills.

But that’s what’s happening at the State Legislature.  Rather than cut spending on non-core services or deferring corporate tax credits, our leaders want to raise taxes on middle and lower-income Oklahomans.

Gary Richardson has a plan that would fill the $230 million budget gap for 2017-18, increase funding to the Department of Corrections, Public Safety, and DHS while still ensuring a $5,000 pay raise for Oklahoma teachers.

Spending Cuts

Eliminate ODOT Appropriation to Oklahoma Turnpike Authority $47 million
Medicaid Enrollment Audits $85.6 million
HealthChoice Enrollment Audits $6 million
HealthChoice Select Provider Reform $65 million
3-Year Moratorium on Agency “Swag,” Advertising, Memberships,Sponsorships, and Transportation Project Art $39 million
Consolidation of Administrative and Back Office Functions of Higher Education $32.8 million
Repeal Zero Emission Tax Credit for Any New Projects or Activity Effective on July 1, 2018 $15 million
Cap Zero Emission Tax Credit Liability Payout at $15 million Annually Effective July 1, 2018 $50 million
Cap Ad Valorem Reimbursement for Wind at
$15 million Effective July 1, 2018
$15 million
Repeal Sales Tax Exemption on Wind Turbine Sales Effective July 1, 2018 $40 million
Repeal the “Hollywood Subsidy” Film Incentive Effective July 1, 2018 $5 million
Tobacco Settlement Reforms $57 million
Telecommunications Efficiency Audits $3 million
Hiring Reforms $5 million

Total Spending Cuts

$465 million

 
   

 

 

 

2018 Budget Solution

Rainy Day Fund Withdrawal $50 Million
Spending Cuts $465 Million
Total 2018 Additional Revenue Available $515 Million
   
2018 Budget Shortfall $230 Million
$5000 Raise for Public School Teachers $265 Million
Budget increase to DOC, DHS, and Public Safety $20 Million
Total 2018 Cost to Fix the Budget Shortfall, Give a $5000 Raise to Oklahoma School Teachers, and Increase Funding to Core Services $515 Million
 
   

 

2019 and Beyond

There needs to be a performance audit of the seven top funded agencies.  There is no telling how much waste exists in these agencies and until we have a full accounting, we will never be able to ensure every tax dollar is being spent wisely.

I fully expect that we will be able to find hundreds of millions of dollars in waste and fraud which would be more than enough to fund our budget at current levels.

There’s no reason we can’t live within our means.  It’s time that our Republican leaders embrace conservative, Republican principles in our state government and drain the swamp at the State Capitol!

 

 

 Source - OCPAOklahoma Turnpike Authority