| March 26, 2013
OCPA releases a state budget that respects your family budget
Yesterday, OCPA released its FY-2014 Budget Book, which contains our recommendations for the state’s appropriated budget for the upcoming fiscal year. It’s a budget that respects your family budget by focusing spending on core services and allowing for a modest tax cut that does not increase the tax burden for any Oklahoman. A real tax cut for Oklahomans is deserved and necessary, especially since the federal government increased taxes for most Oklahomans this year—while total state tax collections, sales taxes, and state government spending are at all-time highs. Given that Oklahomans are foregoing at least two percent of their paychecks due to the payroll tax hike, we think it is completely reasonable for Oklahoma to focus on core services, eliminate unjustifiable expenditures, and cut appropriations by a little less than two percent, so citizens can keep more of the fruits of their own labor.
Our budget includes the following recommendations:
- State employee health insurance reform—provides the same level of benefits but in a better way and at lower costs.
- Telecommunications efficiency audits—ensures state information technology functions are not over-charged.
- Performance evaluation and hiring reform—ensures only necessary workforce is retained and updates compensation structure.
- An end to earmarks.
- An end to taxpayer funding for attempts at space travel.
- An end to taxpayer funding for state-run TV.
- An end to taxpayer funding for losses on state golf courses.
- An end to taxpayer funding for agencies and industries that generate enough activity to be self-supporting.
- Reform of our ballooning Medicaid program to make it patient-centered and empowering, while saving taxpayer dollars.
By implementing these and other common-sense reforms, Oklahoma can have a better functioning state government and provide taxpayers much-needed relief.