Oklahoma budget hides funding cuts to environmental groups

Jun 13, 2017

Oklahoma Conservation Commission Executive Director Trey Lam on the bank of the Blue River in south-central Oklahoma.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Last week Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law a new budget, and green groups were cheered to see what appeared to be a boost in funding to environmental agencies.

However, as StateImpact reports, it appears those funding boosts were nothing but smoke and mirrors.

For example, the budget provides the Oklahoma Conservation Commission with a $1 million grant.

But a closer look shows that the million can only be used in accordance with a Federal dam repair fund, and when that money is removed as a factor, the commission is actually receiving a cut of $333,000.

That’s not the only funding cut that was hidden in the budget. On paper it appears the state Department of Agriculture received a funding boost of over five percent. However, that money is actually unavailable to the department, which is actually seeing a slash in funding.