Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

For Immediate Release: March 7, 2011

Sen. David Myers
Sen. David Myers

Sen. Myers says bill authorizing DOC to use existing funds will prevent bigger budget hole in July

The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee said legislation approved on Monday would help address critical needs in the Department of Corrections (DOC) without adding to the $500 million gap facing the state in the coming budget year. Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City, said the bill authorizes DOC to use existing funds to reduce employee furloughs. The measure was approved by the full Senate on a bipartisan vote of 37-7.

“A supplemental would have simply reduced available funds this year or made the budget hole worse when the new fiscal year starts in July,” Myers said. “Senate Bill 970 authorizes DOC to use existing dollars in the Oklahoma Correctional Industries’ revolving fund, enabling them to drastically reduce furloughs without making the budget situation worse.”

Myers said the legislation would authorize DOC to use up to $4 million from the fund in addition to the $1.25 million authorized last year.

“This authorization will enable DOC to reduce planned furloughs from four days a month to just one day a month. This is tremendously important given the current understaffing situation,” Myers said. “Even if they access the full amount, there will still be enough money left in the fund to address cash flow needs of the prison industries programs.”

“The bottom line is we can’t print or borrow money like the federal government, and we wouldn’t want to,” Myers said. “SB 970 represents our best option for reducing DOC furloughs without adding to the size of the shortfall.”

For more information contact:
Sen. Myers: (405) 521-5628

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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