Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: August 22, 2017
Sen. Stephanie Bice; R-Oklahoma City; Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah;
Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie, and Sen. Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle, discuss
budgeting bill at a press conference held Tuesday at the state Capitol.
file legislation to implement line-item budgeting
Seven members of the Oklahoma State Senate have co-authored
legislation aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in
exactly how tax dollars are being used by the agencies receiving the
vast majority of state appropriations each year. Senate Bill 875 would
require the Legislature to approve line-item budgets for agencies
appropriated more than $100 million in state funds.
Thompson, R-Okemah, is the principal author of the legislation,
co-authored by Sen.
AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie; Sen.
Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City; Sen.
Jason Smalley, R-Stroud; Sen.
Marty Quinn, R-Claremore; Sen.
Lonnie Paxton, R-Tuttle; and Sen.
Julie Daniels, R-Bartlesville. Thompson, who chairs the Senate
Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance, said the legislation would
give legislators and their constituents a clearer understanding of
exactly how agencies are using their state appropriated resources,
and an opportunity to redirect how those resources are allocated to
prioritize the needs of citizens.
“The biggest responsibility the Legislature has is writing and
passing the budget. One way or another, it impacts every single person
in our state,” Thompson said. “By digging deeper and really
examining all the programs, services and other expenses these major
agencies are funding, the public is going to be more fully informed
about how those dollars are being used, and lawmakers will have the
ability to be better stewards of those dollars.”
Agencies that would be subject to this legislation include the Department
of Education; CareerTech; Department of Transportation; the Oklahoma
Health Care Authority; the Department of Mental Health and Substance
Abuse; the Department of Human Services; and the Department of Corrections.
While annual appropriations to Higher Education are more than $100
million, the state constitution restricts the Legislature from specifying
how the appropriation is allocated.
“Line item budgeting is not a new concept. It was done through
2009 and then was ended in order to give agencies more flexibility
in times of limited resources,” Thompson said. “But the
bottom line is lawmakers are the representatives of the people—we
are making decisions on their behalf and are accountable to them in
ways state agencies are not. This is our responsibility, especially
as we face continued budget challenges.”
For more information, contact:
Sen. Thompson: (405) 521-5588