(The Center Square) – Oklahoma lawmakers will have an estimated $10.3 billion at their disposal when budget talks begin for the next fiscal year, according to a statement from Gov. Kevin Stitt.

The state Board of Equalization estimated certified and authorized funds Monday at $9.1 billion, but the state has an additional $1.106 billion in one-time carryover funds in what Stitt called "special cash from the fiscal year 2021 budget."

“This past fiscal year, Oklahoma’s economy has bounced back in a big way and continues to improve,” Stitt said in a statement. “State revenues are climbing while we are cutting taxes for every Oklahoman.”

Stitt said he is committed to remaining fiscally responsible. 

“We have changed the perception for how taxpayer dollars should be spent in Oklahoma,” Stitt said. “I’m proud of Senate Appropriations Chairman Roger Thompson, Senate Appropriations Vice-Chair Chuck Hall, House Appropriation Chairman Kevin Wallace and House Appropriations Vice-Chair Kyle Hilbert for their fiscal discipline last year and thinking long term.”

Sen. Roger Thompson, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, told KWTV the budget estimates were good but he wants to be very cautious. He said he is considering raises for some state employees. 

Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang, said he agreed the state must be fiscally conservative even with the huge influx of cash.

“We must continue to be prudent in the appropriations of taxpayer dollars to insure consistent strong core services while decreasing taxes where fiscally responsible,” Hill said in a Facebook post.

Stitt signed a $9.1 billion budget earlier this year for fiscal year 2022, which ends on June 30.

The Board of Equalization meets again in February to certify the final estimate. Lawmakers return to Oklahoma City on Feb. 7 to begin the legislative session.

Associate Editor

Kim Jarrett's career spans over 30 years with stops in radio, print and television. She has won awards from both the Georgia Press Association and the Georgia Association of Broadcasters.