Oklahoma board expected to declare budget shortfall

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – In a matter of hours, the State Board of Equalization is expected to declare a budget shortfall in Oklahoma for Fiscal Year 2020.

Officials believe the board will allow money from the Rainy Day Fund to be moved into general state coffers.

There has been a battle going on between state legislators and Gov. Kevin Stitt for the past two weeks.

Both the House and Senate voted amid the pandemic to overwhelmingly pass three bills that would patch a $450 million hole in the 2020 budget.

The governor signed two of those bills, putting enough money into the budget to keep the state from making cuts through April.

However, he wanted lawmakers to rework legislation for funding for May and June to include full funding for his Digital Transformation Initiative, the only part of the 2020 budget that was not fully funded in the recently passed legislation.

Last week, House and Senate leaders sued the governor and Board of Equalization, demanding they call a meeting and declare a budget shortfall. The Oklahoma Supreme Court said the BOE has until 5 p.m. Monday to do so.

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