Editor’s notebook: Rainy Day Fund boost, Brad Carson’s prospects, Mike Fogarty’s raise

Issuing an upbeat assessment of Oklahoma state government revenue growth this week, Office of State Finance Director Preston Doerflinger said a hefty deposit into the Constitutional Reserve (better known as the Rainy Day Fund) is likely in July. 

Issuing his monthly General Revenue Fund Report, Doerflinger said in a release sent to CapitolBeatOK, “General Revenue Fund collections for May show the state economy is still surging, dwarfing the national unemployment rate and bringing in revenue well above the official estimate.

“We won’t know the figure until next month, but it’s certain the Rainy Day Fund deposit will be substantially higher than the $71.1 million forecast at the February meeting of the Board of Equalization. It could easily double that amount.”

Gov. Mary Fallin, commenting on the revenue report, said, “A commitment to fiscal responsibility and pro-growth policies continues to help our economy recover and expand. It’s encouraging news that May revenues will be high enough for us to make a significant deposit into the Rainy Day Fund.

“However, more work needs to be done to create the very best business environment to foster creation of even more jobs and investment in Oklahoma.”

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As early maneuvering continues to replace Oklahoma Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Boren in the U.S. House of Representatives, an early survey reading has given some modest hopes for Democrats hoping to keep the seat out of Republican hands.
 Daily Kos  shared a Second Congressional District survey, conducted for former U.S. Rep. Brad Carson, giving him leads in both a potential primary race and a hypothetical general election contest. 
The Public Policy Polling survey, on behalf of Carson’s campaign, gave him a 43 percent to 24 percent primary edge over former state Sen. Ken Corn of Poteau. The survey had him ahead 43-35 in a possible general election against state Rep. George Faught of Muskogee. 

In their head-to-head, the poll found Corn with a 37% to 36% advantage over Faught.
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At last week’s meeting of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority board, CEO Mike Fogarty was given a $20,000 pay raise (roughly a 14% boost, to $152,000 a year) and performance bonuses. 

Fogarty had indicated to his governing board he might hold some reimbursements into the new fiscal year (beginning July 1), in order to keep the agency within budget. 
After Peter J. Rudy reported the news last week at the OklahomaWatchdog.org website, a news story followed in The Oklahoman that included expressions of concern from Gov. Mary Fallin and others about the fiscal maneuvering at an agency held comparatively harmless in the recent state budget cycle.