OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt plans to unveil the GOP state budget proposal on Thursday afternoon.
He and members of the Senate and House leadership are expected to release the details at a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
The Republicans say their plan provides tax relief cuts in personal and corporate taxes, boosts education funding and sets aside money for the rainy day fund.
A news release issued from Stitt’s office following the budget announcement states that the budget does the following:
- Increases common education funding by $171.8 million, or 6%, to a record high of $3.2 billion, triggering class size reductions in kindergarten and first grade.
- Boosts reserves from less than $300 million today to more than $1 billion – approaching the high-water mark state reserves held before the pandemic began.
- Reduces the top personal income tax rate from 5% to 4.75% and the corporate income tax rate from 6% to 4%, placing both in the Top 10 for lowest rates in the country of states that levy those types of taxes.
- Recruits more film industry projects by creating a new film tax incentive with a $30 million cap.
- Expands broadband in underserved and unserved areas statewide through a $42 million tax incentive for providers.
- Aggressively recruits jobs to Oklahoma through $35 million in new economic development funding.
- Restores the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Increases to $50 million the Equal Opportunity Scholarship program cap ($25 million for public schools and $25 million for private schools).
- Funds expanded Medicaid for low-income Oklahomans.
- Restores historic sales tax credit allowing OU Health to train 160 additional nursing graduates and nurse practitioners annually and 70 additional medical residents within three years.
The Fiscal Year 2022 budget spreadsheet is as follows:
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister praised the budget agreement, issuing the following statement:
“After such a very challenging year in the wake of the pandemic, the budget agreement announced today is tremendous news for students, teachers and, in fact, all Oklahomans who benefit from a strong educational system,” Hofmeister said.
An additional $137 million for the school funding formula and $60 million for textbooks will go a long way toward ensuring our children are on track academically. We are grateful to the House and Senate leadership and Gov. Stitt for this considerable investment in public education.”JOY HOFMEISTER, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
Rep. Emily Virgin, D-District 44, issued the following statement criticizing the Republican budget’s priorities:
“Budgets are a product of the priorities of their authors. Both Democrats and Republicans proposed tax cuts this week. Republicans focused on lowering the tax burden on corporations, while House Democrats focused on working Oklahomans and their families.
Both Democrats and Republicans proposed savings. Democrats called for more than $300 million in savings, while Republicans called for $800 million.
While an extra $500 million in savings sounds nice, our citizens are literally paying the price.
With this money, we could end the state sales tax on groceries, which would save Oklahomans more than $250 million per year. We could do this and restore AND increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, which puts money directly back into the pocket of Oklahoma workers.
Finally, we can not in good conscience vote for any budget that sends $25 million of hard-earned taxpayer money to private schools.”REP. EMILY VIRGIN
Oklahoma Democrats outlined their proposal earlier this week.
The budget proposal submitted by Democratic legislators is as follows:
The following is the House Democratic Caucus Budget Agenda Mission Statement:
The breakdown of legislation that supports the budget submitted by Democratic legislators is as follows:
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