Sen. Branan applauds Gov. Henry’s push for Rainy Day Fund cap increase
Share this Article: Twitter Facebook Republish Print
YouTube Video

Published: 01-Feb-2010

In Monday’s State of the state address, Governor Brad Henry reiterated his support for legislation to allow an increase in the allowable cap on deposits into the Constitutional Reserve, better known as the Rainy Day Fund.

Early in his speech before a joint session of the Legislature, the chief executive said state leaders must “ensure that our emergency fund is adequate to meet our future needs. This year, I ask for your support in raising the cap on Rainy Day Fund deposits from 10 percent to 15 percent of general revenue collections. We owe that to the people of this state. Let’s get it done.”

The comment drew sustained applause from members of both parties and citizens in the gallery in the House of Representatives, where both House members and senators gathered to hear Gov. Henry’s last scheduled address to a joint session.

The boost in rainy day deposits is an idea whose time has apparently come. After falling short of legislative approval in previous sessions, it has strong bipartisan support this year. Sen. John Ford of Bartlesville, a Republican, and Sen. Andrew Rice of Midtown Oklahoma City, a Democrat, have stressed the issue in recent weeks.

Monday, State Sen. Cliff Branan, an Oklahoma City Republican, announced filing of Senate Joint Resolution 69. In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Branan said he was “pleased” at the governor’s support: “If we would have raised the cap years ago we wouldn’t be in such a dire predicament now as we face the largest budget shortfall in state history. This extra money would make a tremendous difference for our state agencies that are facing significant budget cuts because we don’t have the necessary emergency funds to cover the shortfall.”

Gov. Henry, Sen. Ford and others have said the higher annual deposits, sustained in prior good years for tax revenue collections, would have resulted in a Rainy Day Fund totaling nearly $900 milion, rather than the almost $600 million now in the account. Branan pointed out that a higher cap would allow higher support for government services like transportation and public safety. 

Branan took the lead for Republicans in days before the session on transportation infrastructure issues. If a resolution on the rainy day issue passes both houses of the Legislature, the measure would then go before voters in a statewide referendum.

sign up for email updates

Steal Our Stuff