Oklahoma Rainy Day Fund, Question No. 708 (2004)
|Oklahoma Question No. 708 (2004)|
Election results via: The Oklahoma State Elections Board
This measure amends the Oklahoma Constitution. It amends Section 23 of Article 10. This section involves
the Constitutional Reserve Fund also known as the Rainy Day Fund. This measure changes the amount which could be spent from the Rainy Day Fund. The State Board of Equalization would decide if the taxes the state collects each fiscal year will be less than predicted. This is called revenue failure. If this happens, up to three-eighths (3/8) of the Rainy Day Fund could be spent. The total amount spent from the Rainy Day Fund for revenue failure could not exceed the amount of the funds shortage predicted by the State Board of Equalization. The Rainy Day Fund can be used now if the prediction about state tax collections for the current year is less than the prediction made the year before. One-half (1/2) of the Fund can be spent now if this occurs. If this measure passes, that amount would change to three-eighths (3/8). Money can now be spent from the Fund for certain emergencies. One-half (1/2) of the Fund can now be spent for theseemergencies. This measure would change that amount to one quarter (1/4).
In Oklahoma, as in many other states, it is virtually impossible to prevent legislatures and governors from spending every dime of revenue available in the state's coffers.
Efforts to bring fiscal responsibility to these officials have met with varying success. Sometimes they have worked but usually they find ways to circumvent these blockades on spending.
The rainy day fund's function is to provide money for emergencies and revenue shortfalls. Up to one-half of the balance of the fund at the beginning of the fiscal year can be spent for the forthcoming fiscal year when the board's certification for that year is less than for the current one. The amount appropriated cannot exceed the difference between the two certifications. 
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