The Norman Transcript

State/Region

November 20, 2012

Fiscal cliff poses problems

OKLAHOMA CITY — The failure of Congress to address the nation’s looming fiscal cliff could have dire consequences for Oklahoma’s economy beginning as early next year, a state finance official warned lawmakers Monday.

Oklahoma’s Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger told members of a House committee that Oklahoma could lose $137 million in direct federal funding as a result of sequestration, commonly referred to as a fiscal cliff, which refers to the automatic, government-wide spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1.

“The day has come for the federal checkbook to be reconciled, and this will no doubt have implications for states, ours included,” Doerflinger said.

Incoming House Speaker T.W. Shannon requested Monday’s study as a way for the state and legislature to prepare for the likely loss of federal funding.

“There’s a lot of concern out there about the fiscal cliff and what’s going to be occurring in the next few months ...” said Shannon, R-Lawton. “My goal, my purpose, is to examine how our state agencies are prepared or not prepared to deal with it.”

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