October 15, 2013
At Gov. Mary Fallin’s direction, Oklahoma Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger sent a letter to all state agencies directing them not to use state dollars to temporarily fund federal programs during the ongoing shutdown of the federal government unless federal reimbursement is guaranteed.
Fallin also issued the following statement:
“The state of Oklahoma doesn’t have the resources to prop up federal programs with state dollars if the federal government shutdown continues. It’s simple math. The money just isn’t there. There is agreement between the governor’s office and legislative leadership that the state is not in a position to put itself on the hook for federal responsibilities.
“Oklahoma can’t and won’t take the federal government’s path of spending money it doesn’t have. The state has its own commitments to meet with very limited state resources. The federal government needs to solve its own problems.
“There is no guarantee the feds will pay states back for temporarily funding federal programs. It’s far too slippery a slope to cross, especially when the folks in D.C. have proven themselves less than responsible of late. Oklahoma taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay twice for federal programs at the expense of state programs.
“Even if the state tapped emergency resources to fund federal programs, the burn rate would be incredibly swift to the point that the state would likely exhaust all its own resources with no guarantee of ever being reimbursed. It would cause more problems than it would solve, so it’s not a responsible or realistic option at this point.
“We pass balanced budgets in Oklahoma, so we’re not willing or able to spend money we don’t have to prop up a federal government that won’t keep its own doors open.”