Oklahoma officials expect third consecutive year with significant budget shortfall

American dollars, Photo: tOrange.us / CC BY-SA 4.0

American dollars, Photo: tOrange.us / CC BY-SA 4.0

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma budget writers are bracing for yet another gaping hole to work around for the upcoming fiscal year.

It’s the third consecutive year with a significant shortfall.

Officials estimate a $600 million deficit for the budget that will pay for public safety, health care and infrastructure starting July 1.

The 2017 fiscal year deficit, as well as last year’s $1.3 billion shortfall and $611 million the year before, are all due to lower revenue from oil and natural gas production and the impact of various tax cuts and deductions.

State Treasurer Ken Miller suggests that lawmakers don’t look toward using more sources of one-time money.

Lawmakers have said they want to provide raises for teachers and state workers despite the budget trouble.