Monday, October 26, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY - With 2016 expected to be a challenging budget year, Governor Mary Fallin today issued an executive order requiring the chief administrative officer of every Oklahoma agency, board and commission to prepare written plans to reduce nonessential expenses by 10 percent for both the remainder of this fiscal year and for the entire 2017 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The executive order does not mandate any spending cuts; rather, it asks agency heads to plan for potential future cuts.
The plans are to include an explanation of how the dollars saved from the reduction will be reallocated to other needs within the agency. The written spending cut plans are due to each agency’s respective Cabinet secretary by Dec. 1, according to Executive Order 2015-46 (see attached).
The governor also placed a moratorium on nonessential, taxpayer-funded, out-of-state travel for all state employees. Essential travel is limited to trips that are critical to core state agency functions, maintain professional accreditation unavailable in Oklahoma, are required by the federal government or are necessary to secure or maintain federal funding.
Also, effective Dec. 1, advance written notification must be given for proposed state payment of any:
• Agency, state and public employee or officer membership(s) in any private or public organization;
• Nonessential out-of-state travel for agency employees and officers that is wholly paid for by an entity other than the state, or;
• Nonemergency purchase(s) that exceed $10,000.
“I’m asking every agency to start planning for potential spending cuts, and to develop a strategy that protects essential services,” said Fallin. “It’s important we get ahead of this issue as we enter a difficult budget year. Families and businesses tighten their belts during lean times; our state agencies can do the same.”
Revenue for the appropriated state budget for the 2016 fiscal year has come in below projections. A significant shortfall is expected to occur in the next budget year.