The Oklahoma Senate passed legislation during session that would have protected funding to core services during regular session. The House failed to take up this measure.
Despite the letter that went out to all consumers of the Advantage Waiver program,
Advantage waiver programs are fully funded for the time being. The Legislature will act before the special session ends to maintain full funding for waiver programs.
No person receiving services should see any interruption in care.
After two long days of marathon budget meetings, I believe that members are realizing that further cuts to agencies will result in loss of services to the people of Oklahoma. Fifty years ago the legislature would have just pulled money from teachers retirement or from roads without ever giving it a second thought. We have worked hard in the last 12 years to put all of our retirement accounts on a solid footing and we have made a huge impact on reducing the number of structura...lly insufficient bridges and roads. We don't need to move backwards.
The huge obstacle before us is trying to raise revenue with a 75% vote. We will continue to look for the one or two scenarios that have the greatest chance to pass. If the house is unable to send us a revenue package we will have to have a scenario of targeted cuts ready to go. We will prioritize these to lessen the impact as much as possible. But believe me when I say that there will be an impact.
I really appreciate the large number of Senators and Representatives that have come together to work through all of these issues before we go into special session.
I'm so proud of the people of Wagoner, the Fire Department and Police Department for the professionalism shown during the fire in downtown Wagoner last night. We lost a big piece of our historical Downtown, but it could have been so much worse. I must also thank all of the surrounding fire departments for coming to the aid of our great town.