Gov. Brad Henry says he is going to the Cotton Bowl to watch Oklahoma State University but is undecided about going to see his alma mater play next week in the Sun Bowl.
“We’re definitely going to the Cotton Bowl, but because of the holidays and family (being) home we don’t know if we’re going to be able to make it to both bowls,” said the state’s First Fan. “The Cotton Bowl is easier because it’s a three-hour drive; the Sun Bowl – we’ve got to get some alternative transportation.”
The University of Oklahoma tackles the University of Oregon in the Brut Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.…
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The numbers released by State Treasurer Scott Meacham this morning aren’t pretty. But it’s not the worst in the country, he says.
With budget cuts in place and transfers, state leaders still have to find an additional $450 million to balance the budget by June 30, when the fiscal year ends. Those numbers still need to be approved by the Board of Equalization, which meets tomorrow.
State leaders have committed to restoring funds to an account that pays for education reforms that has also seen its collections drop off.…
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State Treasurer Scott Meacham’s press briefing this afternoon has been rescheduled.
Meacham is expected to meet with media at 10:30 a.m. Monday. The Board of Equalization’s meeting has also been rescheduled.
The meeting will now be Tuesday afternoon, instead of Monday. The board will approve estimates for revenue collections that the state’s budget will be based on. Actual collections were 25 percent lower than estimates for November. State agencies are now seeing a 10 percent cut to their montly allocations to make up the difference.…
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Cold winters might not be a lot of fun to endure, but wintry mix could mean more cash for Oklahoma.
Natural gas prices jumped Thursday due to short supply. For folks in Oklahoma, that’s music to our windswept ears. The Energy Information Administration said the country’s supply dropped by 207 billion cubic feet last week.
Maybe that little glimmer of good news will temper the bad news state agencies received earlier this week that their monthly allocation will be cut by 10 percent after the revelation that Oklahoma is the state with the largest percent budget gap.…
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So far, 20 states have gaps in excess of 5 percent of their general fund budgets, and five of these states have gaps greater than 10 percent. The largest shortfalls are in Oklahoma (18.5 percent) and Arizona (18 percent).
I took a look at the budget report from the National Conference of State Legislatures. It’s official. Oklahoma has the largest budget gap. The group surveyed state officials from across the country. Some states are already seeing a rebound from the economic crunch.…
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Last year, state leaders used to compare Oklahoma’s budget problems to other states and say things like, “It could be worse,” or “We’re fairing better than a lot of other states.”
But it seems that bubble may have burst. An analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oklahoma and Arizona have the nation’s largest gaps this fiscal year.
Check out the report: http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=443036…
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Health insurance for one of the state’s largest employers could change under proposed legislation that will likely be considered when the Legislature convenes next year.
An independent firm evaluating the state’s system of providing health insurance said the state doesn’t take advantage of cost savings that could come from a more competitive system. The report, adopted by the State Employee Health Insurance Review Working Group on Tuesday, also recommends combining the Employees Benefit Council and the Oklahoma State Education and Employees Group Insurance Board.…
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Now it’s back to the grindstone, so look for frequents posts on this blog again. I know, it’s the holidays and government is winding down its work for the year. However, much of the hard work for lawmakers remains. The budget. Yes, in these halls it is a four letter word.
Revenue figures from last month will be released tomorrow.…
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The Veterans Affairs Department has not cut any services yet, but they may not be avoided if deeper budget cuts are order, an agency official told legislators.
The department has been to use carryover money and will delay filling certain positions to make up the required 5 percent cut in state appropriations, said Steven Diffee, the agency’s program administrator for finance.
The department is holding nonnursing positions open for a longer period before filling them, he said Thursday.
Deeper cuts probably would result in reducing services, which eventually could lead to closing one of the state’s seven veterans centers, Diffee said.…
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The governor for a couple hours Tuesday was second fiddle at the state Capitol.
More than 1,000 children from across the state showed up at the Capitol to decorate 42 small artificial Christmas trees scattered throughout the Capitol.
The highlight for most was Santa coming by to take a look at their trees and to have him pose with them for a picture with each class.
But at least one child, Emerson Hagy, 5, a kindergartener at Clegern Elementary School in Edmond, was looking forward to seeing Gov.…
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