Oklahoma Rainy Day Fund, State Question 708 (2004)

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The Oklahoma Rainy Day Fund Amendment, also known as State Question 708, was on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Oklahoma as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure authorized up to three-eighths of the Rainy Day Fund to be spent in the event the state experienced revenue failure. Prior to this measure, up to half of the fund was allowed to be spent.[1]

Election results

Oklahoma State Question 708 (2004)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 873,791 63.09%
No511,13636.91%

Election results via: Oklahoma Secretary of State

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title appeared as:[2]

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 these emergencies. This measure would change that amount to one quarter (1/4).

[3]

Full text

The full text of the measure can be read here.

Background

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. [4]

See also

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