State Senate passes budget deal that calls for $745M increase
Sen. Randy Bass, R-Lawton, said he voted in favor of Senate Bill 1600 Wednesday because for the first time in years, the measure represented a budget that actually moved the state forward.
The $7.6 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019, contained within SB 1600, offers a $745 million increase compared to the previous year, Bass said. The bill won overwhelming support in the Senate and goes to the House for consideration.
"For the past decade this state has been cutting funding for the most basic services our citizens depend on and as Oklahoma continued to slide to the bottom in education funding, health and mental health care and more, we really were at a crisis point," he said. "With this budget package, for the first time in years, we are moving in the right direction."
Supporters said the Fiscal Year 2019 budget includes $365 million for teacher pay raises as well as $54 million for state employee raises, along with budget increases for health and mental health, public safety and other core services.