Proposed bill could improve Oklahoma’s budget transparency

Proposed bill could improve Oklahoma’s budget transparency

OK (KSWO)- Some Oklahoma lawmakers are pushing for a bill they say will improve budget transparency.

The bill would require agencies that receive $100-million or more from the state to give lawmakers a line-by-line explanation of their expenses.

Supporters of the bill say knowing how agencies will be impacted by cuts will increase transparency. However, current budget negotiations aren't open to the press or public.

"We need to dig deep. I need to be able to go back into my district and they say, 'Why are we funding education at $2.4 billion. Where's the money go?' And we need to be able to give that answer," said Senator Roger Thompson.

"Should the press be allowed in the budget negotiations at the end of the session? I have not even participated in those myself. I don't know. I don't know how that would work because I haven't been privy to those conversations," said Senator AJ Griffin.

Last session, budget negotiations broke down and lawmakers passed a budget that included at least $200 million in unconstitutional fees. Now, lawmakers will likely have to return to fix the budget by making massive cuts.

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