A Glance at Gov. Stitt’s Budget Proposal (FY2022)
Gov. Kevin Stitt’s executive budget proposal recommends a total of $8.3 billion in spending for the fiscal year 2022. Of this proposal, $7.9 billion accounts for recurring expenses and approximately $455.2 million is designated for one-time expenses. This FY2022 budget is “largely flat” according to the state’s first chief financial officer Amanda Rodriquez. The FY2022 budget, paraphrasing Rodriquez, contains several strategic investments and proposes additional savings, like $300 million to the Revenue Stabilization Fund, which currently has a balance of $171 million.
A part of the new budget, Gov. Stitt proposes more than $66.0 million in new appropriations to state agencies, including several that directly affect education. The first new appropriation is $17 million to the State Department of Education to meet the statutory requirement to pay health insurance for teachers and school support personnel. Gov. Stitt also recommends $618,000 for the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) to replace its aging HVAC system.
Last year, the Oklahoma Legislature passed two bills — House Bill 2742 and House Bill 2741 — that were intended to shore education funding deficits by re-directing a percentage of the revenues appropriated to the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System, the Police Retirement System and the Oklahoma Firefighters pension. According to Tom Spencer, executive director of the TRS, this action would result in a potential loss of approximately $142.6 million over FY2022 and FY2023 to the TRS. In the new budget proposal, Gov. Stitt calls for the state to payback these re-directed funds to the retirement systems for which they were initially intended. To cover this expense for FY2022, $125 million is recommended.
You can view the full Oklahoma Executive Budget Proposal for FY2022 online.