The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 29, 2014

Hard times comin'? State leaders say budget will be challenge

From The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — The head of the Oklahoma Senate says balancing next year's budget will be challenging because Oklahoma hasn't enjoyed economic growth of late.

Speaking at a forum sponsored by The Associated Press, Senate President Brian Bingman said Wednesday that legislators may have to consider tax credit changes and other reforms to balance the state's books for the 2015 fiscal year.

Earlier, House leaders presented different takes on whether Oklahoma should slash income taxes during a session that opens next week.

House Minority Leader Scott Inman said a proposed tax cut would harm state services, but House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Jackson said a reduction would help grow the economy.

Compared to this year's budget, legislators will have about $170 million less to spend on state programs next year.