The Oklahoma budget is prepared by the director of state finance and submitted by the governor to the legislature each February. Article 10, section 23 of the Oklahoma Constitution requires a balanced budget. The constitution establishes a "Rainy Day" Fund into which general revenue fund revenues in excess of the certified estimate are deposited for emergency appropriation at a later date. All funds are "appropriated" pursuant to the constitution. In addition, state law authorizes a cash-flow reserve fund that can be up to 10% of the approved budget. The fiscal year is 1 July–30 June.
Taxes in Oklahoma provide over half of total treasury funds. In 2000/01, general fund revenues, at $5.055 billion, were comfortably above expenditures, which were $4.819 billion. In 2002/03, however, revenues dropped to $4.791 billion, and Oklahoma has since been faced with serious budget problems, particularly as costs have continued to rise. Across-the-board cuts have been mandated, as are required by the constitution. In 2001/02, the legislature made cuts totaling $173.7 million in the budget after it was enacted; in 2002/03, post-enactment cuts reached $427.2 million. Oklahoma's budget deficit was estimated at 20.6% of its state budget for 2002/03, and was projected at 15.9% of the state budget for 2003/04. In 2000/01, Oklahoma had a starting balance equal to 13.1% of expenditures. By 2002/03, the starting balance had dropped to 1% of expenditures.
The following table from the US Census Bureau contains information on revenues, expenditures, indebtedness, and cash/securities for 2001.
|Population (thousands, 2001)||3,470||(X)||(X)|
|Insurance trust revenue||221,381||1.74||63.80|
|Exhibit: Salaries and wages||2,055,605||18.01||592.39|
|Parks and recreation||77,846||0.68||22.43|
|Interest on general debt||251,903||2.21||72.59|
|Other and unallocable||680,920||5.96||196.23|
|Insurance trust expenditure||1,319,858||11.56||380.36|
|Debt at end of fiscal year||5,985,516||100.00||1,724.93|
|Cash and security holdings||24,581,619||100.00||7,084.04|