OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Kevin Stitt may seek additional money to operate his office in the next fiscal year.
Stitt hopes to be able to finish the fiscal year 2019 with the current appropriation, but may ask lawmakers to increase his office budget for fiscal year 2020, said Donelle Harder, a Stitt spokeswoman.
“We are trying to wait and make that ask for fiscal year 2020,” Harder said.
She said she did not know how much would be requested if the office did seek an increase.
The fiscal year begins July 1.
The governor’s budget is about the same size as the one the governor in 1982 had and does not account for inflation, Harder said.
While other budgets may have increased, due to various fluctuations and a war with the Legislature, the budget of former Gov. Mary Fallin was reduced, Harder said.
Fallin’s highest total budget while in office was in fiscal year 2014 at slightly more than $2.6 million, according to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
That figure dropped to slightly more than $2 million in fiscal year 2019, according to the agency.
Her highest employee count was in fiscal year 2013 with nearly 29 employees. When she left office in 2019, the figure was 18 employees.
Stitt inherited what was left of her fiscal year 2019 budget, Harder said.
But Stitt also must cover expenses for former employees who left when Fallin finished her term in the area of sick leave and vacation pay, Harder said.
According to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, Fallin’s average appropriation was slightly more than $1.9 million, much lower than her predecessors, former Govs. Brad Henry, Frank Keating and David Walters.
The average number of full-time employees also was much lower, at 24 people, compared to 31 for Henry, 38 for Keating and 36 for Walters, according to the agency.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, said he anticipates that the office will get additional dollars.
The Legislature and Fallin cut back a lot on the office’s budget, he said.
But the office did use money from other sources, such as the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, he said.