Archive for the ‘workers comp’ Category

Has Brad Henry Promised More than He Can Deliver?

February 5, 2008

Yesterday, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry gave his sixth State of the State Speech, and, as the Tulsa World reports,

…called for an average teacher pay raise of $1,200, weighted toward
veteran teachers and those with advanced degrees, to bring salaries to the
regional average. The proposal would cost $68.5 million. He also wants a 5
percent pay raise for state employees, at a cost of $65 million for a full
year.

Sounds good. Now, who’s going to pay for that?

According to The Journal Record (emphasis mine, in bold):

According to Henry’s calculations, his proposal would more than pay for itself by increasing efficiencies and otherwise putting state funds to better use, leaving an extra $1 million in state coffers at the end of the fiscal year. The cost of Henry’s proposals would rise in subsequent years, however, due to nearly $190 million in bond issues he recommended.

The state Equalization Board in December certified $7.06 billion available for the Legislature to spend for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The expenditures outlined in Henry’s budget proposal come to $7.32 billion.

Henry is hoping to convince tax payers who are delinquent in their accounts to pay-up by offering them a reduction in the intererest owed, and by publishing a list of delinquent tax payers to shame them into paying. In Henry’s plan, other monies would come from adjustments made to the state workers compensation process, from from various state agencies’ expense accounts, and from bonds.

Translation: The money is coming from the same place ALL government money comes from – you, the Oklahoma taxpayer. In anticipation of objections on both sides of the aisle, Henry is quoted by NewsOK:

We cannot move forward by pushing back,” Henry said. “We must set aside partisan bickering and reactionary politics. The people of Oklahoma have nothing to gain from petty quarrels, and our time is too precious to waste in gridlock. Press releases are short-lived, but cooperation and constructive action resonate for a generation.

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