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No indication current trend to yield significant growth in next fiscal year

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund collections in October were $436.4 million and came $2.5 million, 0.6 percent, above the monthly estimate. Coincidentally, the year-to-date estimate also came in above by 0.6 percent. There was improvement in nearly every category from last year, as expected. 

"A revenue failure does not seem to be in the forecast, but neither does a healthy surplus, so maintaining FY 18 levels of funding to core services will require continued discussion, cooperation and effort," said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger. "If the Legislature desires a different path forward, I urge them to begin putting those plans together now so they can be discussed during the next regular session."

Oklahoma City, Nov. 1, 2017 — Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston Doerflinger issued this statement responding to Legislature's plans to fund state agencies:

"Perpetuating the theory that providing a small amount of funding to help agencies with the promise we can come back during regular session blatantly disregards the balanced budget requirement set in our constitution.

"I am firmly of the opinion that the constitution requires Oklahoma to maintain a balanced budget, thereby not allowing the Legislature to “float” agencies until the Legislature returns. If appropriated funding is insufficient to maintain service levels provided in agencies’ original FY 2018 budgets, then reducing service levels is the only option left for those agencies. 

The State Capitol Building will open on schedule after being closed since 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, for an electrical upgrade. The building was closed to remove existing electrical equipment and make the transfer to a new system.

The first 72 hours were the most crucial to the outage success, as demolition crews worked around the clock to remove existing switchgear and busway traversing the southwest wing of the building. At the same time, framers prepared a new fire-rated and code compliant electrical room where the connection was made between the OG&E vault and the new underground feeders.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The State Capitol building, which will be without power, will be closed to everyone but workers from Manhattan Construction for one week starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, per direction of the Oklahoma Fire Marshal. The temporary closure is necessary to ensure the safety of construction workers, tenants and visitors while the Capitol’s outdated electrical infrastructure is being replaced. The building will be reopened to tenants and the public on Monday, Oct. 23. 

“When you’re talking about this sort of voltage, there’s virtually no way to work it safely when you’re talking about the terminations. That’s why you have to completely shut down the power to do the work,” said Andrea Gossard in a video detailing the electrical power project. Gossard is the project manager for Manhattan Construction, the company handling the interior restoration work. 

Recovery continues to be slow, steady

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund collections in September were $505.1 million and came in flat when compared with the monthly estimate. However, collections to the GRF were $52.4 million, or 11.6 percent, higher than prior year collections for September. 

"I want to continue the drumbeat of urging caution to those who are advocating for optimism when analyzing these revenues. Nothing we are seeing right now indicates that there will be considerably more money for agency appropriations in February," said Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology Preston L. Doerflinger.

Income tax receipts were up 11.1 percent for September, the driving factor being corporate income tax with a 44 percent increase over prior year's collections. 

State Chief Information Office (CIO) Bo Reese has been named President of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) executive committee for 2018. Reese serves as CIO for the State of Oklahoma as administrator of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) Information Services division.

"Bo has continually demonstrated his leadership in overseeing the state's technology and data," said Governor Mary Fallin. "To date, OMES, under Bo's leadership, has saved the state $328 million through statewide IT consolidation. I have no doubt he will provide NASCIO with the same thoughtful and driven leadership that he has provided for the State of Oklahoma."

Today Gov. Mary Fallin, along with State Chief Information Officer Bo Reese and members of the Oklahoma tech community, launched Innovate Oklahoma, a new technology initiative between the Office of Management and Enterprise Services and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.

The initiative will allow custom technology applications to be developed to directly meet the needs of the state departments and agencies, leading to innovation and efficiency in government. 

"Innovate Oklahoma is an exciting initiative to grow Oklahoma's tech industry and help launch new startup companies," said Governor Fallin.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Office of Management and Enterprise Services is seeking proposals for the purchase or lease and redevelopment of the 23rd Street Armory located within the State Capitol Complex at 200 N.E. 23rd St., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Interested parties are invited to submit proposals for the 23rd Street Armory building, consisting of 72,667 square feet more or less.

Construction was approved for the 23rd Street Armory as a nationwide Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in September of 1935. Architect and Oklahoma Army National Guard Major Bryan F. Nolen designed the building, which was promoted at the time of construction as being the only armory in the state erected entirely from revenue generated by oil wells located on the Oklahoma State Capitol grounds.

Corporate income taxes again contribute nothing to GRF

OKLAHOMA CITY — General Revenue Fund (GRF) collections in July were equal to the monthly estimate, while outpacing the prior year collections by 10.7 percent for the first month of the fiscal year.

GRF collections in July totaled $411.4 million, which is equal to the official estimate upon which the fiscal year 2018 appropriated state budget was based and $39.8 million above prior year collections for the month. Collections from gross production taxes were the high performers, but collections from all other major sources lagged.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Office of Management and Enterprise Services has approved premium rates for health, dental, life, disability and vision insurance plans to be offered to state, education and many local government employees, retirees and dependents for 2018.

The rates were recommended by the Oklahoma Employees Insurance and Benefits Board and approved by OMES Director Preston L. Doerflinger.

The rates presented at Thursday’s board meeting included increases of roughly 3.5 to 8 percent for HealthChoice health plans. HealthChoice is the state’s self-funded insurance plan administered by OMES.

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