The Norman Transcript

Editorials

November 2, 2012

Budgeting process needs some ‘sanity’

NORMAN — Oklahoma lawmakers are often hit with agency requests for supplemental appropriations. Corrections, for example, is routinely short-funded. Lawmakers add to the budget when they return each spring and then scramble at session’s end to fund the General Appropriations bill.

The target is usually one-time, non-recurring revenues that materialize during the year. They are used to plug budget holes that come from recurring expenses. The state’s treasurer wants to end that kind of “insanity” budgeting.

Treasurer Ken Miller, writing in the monthly Oklahma Economic Report, said such budgeting practices should only be used in extreme recessionary times. Last year as revenue grew, lawmakers spent almost $400 million in non-recurring funds to increase the budget by 5 percent over the prior year.

Corrections is seeking an increase of about $67 million in its fiscal 2014 forecast.

Part of it will fund provisions of the Justice Reinvestment Act, a sweeping revision of how the state deals with prisoners at the end of their sentences.

If voters approve next week, State Question 762 is expected to save taxpayers up to $50 million over the next decade.

That figure comes from the average 100 extra days in prison that an inmate serves while waiting for the governor to sign off on a parole recommendation.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014