Stitt

Gov. Kevin Stitt signs five bills earlier this year. On Friday, he signed a budget that gives teachers raises and still saves money for the future. NATE BILLINGS/The Oklahoman

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday signed an $8.1 billion budget bill for the state.

It includes funds for raises for teachers, state employees and correctional officers.

It contains $10 million for Smart on Crime initiatives and $200 million in savings.

“This year’s budget truly is historic,” Stitt said. “The (fiscal year) 2020 budget received overwhelming support in both the House and the Senate. We broke several records when it comes to funding core services.”

Lawmakers finished their business on Thursday, about a week early, but left the door open should they need to return.

For the first time in state history, teachers will receive a pay raise for the second year in a row, he said.

Last year, lawmakers raised taxes to provide an average $6,100 teacher pay raise. This year, the raise is $1,200.

“This is going to go a long way to letting teachers know how valued they are,” Stitt said.

The budget agreement also calls for an additional $74 million to be put into the education funding formula so local districts can invest in areas they feel are necessary, Stitt said.

The budget agreement also calls for a state employee pay raise for a second year in a row, Stitt said.

Meanwhile, correctional officers are slated to get a $2 an hour pay raise.

The budget agreement includes $15 million in digital modernization to make government more transparent, more cost-efficient and more customer-focused, Stitt said.

It also includes $19 million for a Quick Action Closing Fund to ensure the state can compete for new companies, Stitt sad.

“This session has been by far the most productive session I have been involved in,” said Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “I have been here since 2011.”

House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said the investment in health care in nursing homes is a tremendous component of the budget.

In addition, the budget calls for provider rate increases and money for county roads and bridges, McCall said.

Stitt also signed Senate Bill 1, by Treat, to create the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency to provide data to lawmakers and the public on agency budgets and program performance. The budget includes $1.7 million for LOFT.

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Barbara Hoberock

405-528-2465

barbara.hoberock@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @bhoberock

Capitol Bureau Writer

Barbara has covered the statehouse since 1994. She covers politics, appellate courts and state agencies. She has worked for the Tulsa World since 1990. Phone: 405-528-2465

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