Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: April 23, 1996
LEGISLATIVE LEADERS AGREE ON
TRANSPORTATION, PUBLIC SAFETY APPROPRIATIONS
OKLAHOMA CITY -Legislative leaders have reached a budget agreement
today that will pump an additional U $203 million into education
in the coming fiscal year, and add new moneys to public & safety
and transportation as well.
"We've said all along that education is our top priority, and this
agreement proves it," said Senator Stratton Taylor, President Pro
Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate. "We feel that it's the best investment
we can make for Oklahoma, especially from an economic development
The agreement was announced after several weeks of budget negotiations
between House and Senate leaders.
"The $203 million will be divided among common education, higher
education and vocational-technical education," noted House Speaker
Glen D. Johnson. "The budget agreement illustrates the depth of
our commitment to public education and the people of Oklahoma."
The exact amount of the individual allocations will be determined
by House and Senate budget writers in the days and weeks to come.
The overall total includes funding : for midterm adjustments and
teachers retirement costs.
Public safety and transportation will also receive additional funding
under the accord reached by legislative leaders today.
"We were able to give education the lion's share of the state growth
revenue without neglecting other critical needs in public safety
and transportation. All the bases that needed to be covered have
been," said Senator Taylor, D-Claremore.
Under the legislative program, transportation will receive an increase
in general fund revenue, some $15 million, for the first time in
recent history. Public safety and corrections will receive a total
of $52 million in new money.
"We're providing public safety with the money it needs to catch
the criminals and keep them behind bars," said Speaker Johnson,
D-Okemah. "We're also taking steps to improve our road and highway
systems, especially in rural Oklahoma.
"In short, we're investing the state's growth revenue where it
will do the most good, in education, infrastructure and public safety.
The budget allocations include significant funding for rural economic
development projects, such as roads, bridges, water and sewer lines,"
added Speaker Johnson.
In addition to the state's growth revenue, legislative leaders
are also going to notify Governor Keating that Rainy Day funds should
be considered for use in the total FY H '97 budget package, including
$13.1 million for midterm adjustments.