Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 25, 2009
Sen. Mike Johnson
Senate Appropriations Committee Receives Briefings on
Impact of Federal Stimulus Package
The federal stimulus package will soften the effects
of the recession on Oklahoma's budget for fiscal years 2010 and
2011. That's according to Senate Appropriations Chairman Mike
Johnson following a committee briefing for the full Appropriations
Committee on Wednesday.
Members heard from the heads of five state agencies,
including the Department of Transportation, the Department of
Human Services, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the State
Water Resources Board and the Department of Environmental Quality
on how the stimulus funds would impact their programs and services.
Approximately 20 agencies as well as county governments and municipalities
are slated to receive some of the stimulus funds.
"Oklahoma will be receiving a total of $2.7
billion, most of which will flow directly to state agencies. This
means in some cases, federal funds we were losing are being replaced,
but it is important to remember that this package only covers
two budget years," said Johnson, R-Kingfisher. "For
an agency like ODOT, this means programs already in the works
to replace and repair roads and bridges can continue."
Johnson warned it was premature to know what, if
any strings may be attached to the federal stimulus funds, and
if so, whether that could create additional difficulties. He said
that's something legislators would be watching closely. Johnson
also emphasized the stimulus funds were "one-time" money,
meaning lawmakers and agencies should not count on those funds
to continue beyond the constraints of the current package.
"That's why it is important to focus on capital,
one-time projects and not use these funds for expanding programs
that would result in additional costs we can't meet in the future,"
Johnson said. "This package can help, but if it is not directed
correctly, it could hurt."
For more information contact:
Sen. Johnson's Office: 405-521-5592