We've got good and bad news in the continuing financial picture for Oklahoma. The overall consensus is that the legislative special session has not been as productive as everyone had hoped. We are currently looking at a $400,000,000 budget deficit for FY19, and FY18 has a budget deficit of $250,000,000. The House did pass a $100,000,000 package on October 30 to shore up the health services, and the Senate passed an additional $23,000,000 from previous year monies. We don’t expect to see gross production bills pass or major revenue raised.
Now for the better news: there is some hope in current collections. Sales tax collections seem to have stabilized, and oil prices continue to move upward. This could set off increased collections, much as it has been doing for the past few months. However, we don’t know where this will end and how short lived it will be. The most optimistic outlook would be that the funds recover enough to begin meeting this and next year's budgetary needs. There is, though, still a distance to go to complete the recovery.
Remember that we will be expecting a state aid decrease at mid-term. Growth will occur in student WADM across the state, which will drop the state aid factors. We won’t know until we get to that point in the year, but expect to see state aid factors decline. The variables of which we are unsure in predicting a change in the formula factors are how much the actual ad valorem chargeable will increase and what the growth in WADM will be. We have this projected, but we still don’t for sure what numbers will be used in the calculations or certified by the State Board of Equalization.