OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2023 has now cleared both houses of the Oklahoma Legislature and is heading to Gov. Kevin Stitt for final approval.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 1040 Friday. The general appropriations bill includes funding of about $9.7 billion for state services for FY 2023, which begins July 1.
Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, who serves as House Appropriations & Budget Chair, praised the proposed budget.
“This is a solid, comprehensive budget that is the effort of nearly a year’s worth of work held in numerous public meetings,” Wallace said. “It generously funds public services important to all Oklahomans, including education, health and mental health care, transportation, law enforcement and public safety and many other areas as well as record amounts of investments in economic development. This is also a fiscally conservative budget that prepares us for any potential future economic downturn so that we can continue to fund core government services without the need for across-the-board cuts.”
Some of the budget’s key components are as follows:
- More than $4 billion for education;
- $2.8 billion for health and human services;
- A $14.2 million pay raise for Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers, and a $5.3 million pay raise for Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents;
- Returns $181 million to taxpayers for inflation relief by way of a one-time rebate of $75 for individuals and $150 for families, to be paid in December;
- A $32.5 million increase to eliminate the developmentally disabled waiting list at the Department of Human Services;
- $5.3 appropriated to the Attorney General’s Office for human trafficking interdiction efforts;
- Reserves close to $1 billion for economic development contingent in the event Oklahoma is awarded Project Ocean – the potential Panasonic deal to Pryor – which would receive close to $698 million under the Large-scale Economic Activity Development Act (LEAD Act). Another $250 million would retrofit Oklahoma areas, such as industrial parks, to help recruit similar economic development megaprojects in the future.
Stitt has until midnight Thursday to act on the bill.