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Gov. Stitt, lawmakers reach state budget agreement

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Posted at 4:43 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 17:45:29-04

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Kevin Stitt and lawmakers at the state Capitol reached a budget agreement Thursday.

According to the governor's office, the agreement maintains all state core service funding, provides tax relief to individuals and businesses, and makes targeted new investments education, economic development, health care and infrastructure. Officials said it also replenishes more than $700 million in state reserve funds that were significantly reduced because of the pandemic.

Officials said the appropriated Fiscal Year 2022 budget would be $8.3 billion.

Today we delivered on the People’s Agenda. I am proud of the Legislature’s collaborative efforts to propose a budget that cuts taxes for Oklahomans and businesses, makes the largest investment in education in state history, and deposits around $800 million into our state’s savings account, replenishing our $1 billion in savings. Last year, the nation saw firsthand how Oklahoma’s approach of fiscal responsibility and saving taxpayers’ money works to secure our state and its future, and this budget demonstrates our strong commitment to continuing that approach to become a Top Ten state.
Gov. Stitt

The high-level agreement, which is still being finalized between the legislature and Stitt, includes the following:

  • Increases common education funding by $171.8 million, or 6%, to a record high of $3.2 billion, triggering class size reductions in kindergarten and first grade.
  • Boosts reserves from less than $300 million today to more than $1 billion – approaching the high-water mark state reserves held before the pandemic began.
  • Reduces the top personal income tax rate from 5% to 4.75% and the corporate income tax rate from 6% to 4%, placing both in the Top 10 for lowest rates in the country of states that levy those types of taxes.
  • Recruits more film industry projects by creating a new film tax incentive with a $30 million cap.
  • Expands broadband in underserved and unserved areas statewide through a $42 million tax incentive for providers.
  • Aggressively recruits jobs to Oklahoma through $35 million in new economic development funding.
  • Restores the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Increases to $50 million the Equal Opportunity Scholarship program cap ($25 million for public schools and $25 million for private schools).
  • Funds expanded Medicaid for low-income Oklahomans.
  • Restores historic sales tax credit allowing OU Health to train 160 additional nursing graduates and nurse practitioners annually and 70 additional medical residents within three years.

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