Republican state rep. frustrated by latest failed budget solution
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
We're back to square one after another budget bill is shot down by the Oklahoma legislature.
Our more than $200 million budget hole remains, and Governor Mary Fallin is none too pleased.
"Our brand and our image as a state is suffering and it's embarrassing," said Fallin.
Eighty percent of Democrats signed on to support the bill, but only 65 percent of Republicans did. One of those Republicans was Muskogee Representative Avery Frix. We spoke with him from his OKC office today via video chat.
"I didn't get elected to come up here and raise taxes, that's certainly not something that I wanted to do, but given the circumstances, I thought it was the right thing to do," said Frix.
He says the three fourths majority vote to pass a revenue bill is the real challenge here, and at this point, he doesn't see much of a way forward for a budget fix.
"I know that the Governor has said last night in press conferences that she'd like to try it again. But I believe this was not our first try, this has been about the third or fourth vote on a package like this. I think we've got to use what we have, the cash we have and the rainy day fund," said Frix.
He says that would cover 70 percent of our budget problem, avoiding some cuts but not all. He's very disappointed this bill failed because it sets the stage for even bigger problems next year.
"Next session we are looking at a $400 million shortfall going into the next session," Frix said. "That was one of the reasons why many wanted to pass the package last night, putting us on a firm foundation for next session."
Now, our footing doesn't look quite so firm.