Coronavirus pandemic expected to affect budget
There have been a lot of changes in the state in just the past week due to COVID-19. But first and foremost, I continue to tell people not to panic. Yes, be careful about spreading germs by practicing good hygiene. Cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands thoroughly—those guidelines are good yearround, regardless. This current situation won’t last forever, and we are all going to get through this. We all just need to stay calm, use common sense, and be good neighbors.
I know a lot of us are worried about the stock market and commodities. I am on President Trump’s Agriculture Advisory Committee. Last week I sent an email to the committee members expressing my concerns about the unfairness of boxed beef and cattle prices. The margins are too spread out.
Oil and gas prices have continued to decline. This and other economic changes due to lower energy prices and how COVID-19 is affecting businesses throughout Oklahoma are going to have an impact on the budget. We are continuing to monitor these changes closely, and though it will be a challenge, we will balance the budget and live within our means. Fortunately, we saved an additional $200 million last year, giving us a total emergency savings of $1 billion, which will help buffer our state as we work to fund core services.
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