2020 budget

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a call from Governor Stitt to start reopening businesses in the state starting this week and the State Board of Equalization declares a revenue failure to fund the government through the current fiscal year, but the state faces a shortfall in the next fiscal year of $1.3B.

Provided

The state panel that sets the amount the Oklahoma Legislature can spend on the state budget met as oil futures spiraled into negative territory for the first time ever.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the lawsuit by legislative leaders to get the governor to call a revenue emergency so they can fund the government through the month of June and number provided by the governor's office on how many inmates are getting released in the latest round of commutations were incorrect.

First-time unemployment claims in Oklahoma have dropped for the first time since mid-March.

Just under 49,000 Oklahomans filed for unemployment last week, down from 60,000 in the previous week.

For the week ending March 21 through this past Saturday, nearly 180,000 Oklahomans have filed first-time claims. The state has paid out $138 million in unemployment insurance so far in April.

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The State Supreme Court is calling on the State Board of Equalization to respond to a lawsuit by the legislature.

Provided / The Oklahoman

State lawmakers are asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to step into a budget fight between the legislature and Governor Kevin Stitt.

On Tuesday afternoon, leaders from the state House and Senate filed a petition calling on the governor to hold a Board of Equalization meeting and declare a revenue failure. The failure is necessary to move money out of the state's Rainy Day Fund, to fully fund state government for the next two months, lawmakers said.

Provided / The Oklahoman

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt's budget battle with the legislature continued Thursday when he held a press conference panning House of Representatives leadership.

Provided / The Oklahoman

Updated 9:19 p.m.

In front of piles of boxes filled with gloves, gowns and face shields, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Tuesday said he and the rest of the state are working around the clock to manage the threat of the novel coronavirus.

Oklahoma Senate

Oklahoma lawmakers passed several bills on Monday to fill a budget shortfall and give Governor Kevin Stitt emergency powers during the health crisis.

Three bills that passed overwhelmingly by the House and Senate would take $500 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to fix a $416 million hole in the current fiscal year budget.

The state of Oklahoma is expected to declare a revenue failure for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Board of Equalization is meeting soon to make the declaration, allowing lawmakers to tap into the Rainy Day Fund which has about $806 million in it.

State officials blame falling oil prices, delaying tax payments until July and closed businesses from the coronavirus pandemic which cuts into sales taxes and raises unemployment.

Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson says he doesn’t expect agency cuts or furloughs as a result of the revenue failure declaration.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a final agreement on a budget between legislative leaders and Governor Stitt and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank, levels a constitutional challenge against an initiative petition to put Medicaid expansion before voters on the 2020 ballot.

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