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In One-Party States Like Oklahoma, Quick Fixes Can Lead To Major Budgetary Headaches

CC BY-SA Nick Youngson

Oklahoma has become the poster child for a wider national trend of states experiencing budget problems, as reported on Governing.com.

The news site notes that Oklahoma proves that one-party states are not immune to major budgetary problems. As it stands now, Oklahoma Republicans are gridlocked about how to deal with a $215 million budget shortfall left by the collapse of a cigarette fee earlier this year. The $1.50-a-pack fee, a one-time fix which was supposed to plug the gap, was rejected by the state Supreme Court.

This one-time-fix mentality is a common trait of one-party states like Oklahoma, and the tendency to look for easy remedies has wreaked havoc on state legislatures nationwide.

Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, identified one major problem.

“The Oklahoma state government is built on an economy where oil is $100 a barrel,” he said.

Oil prices currently sit at half that level.