October 16, 2013

Fallin says no to state money for fed programs

October 16, 2013 Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesday ordered state agency leaders not to use any state money to temporarily fund federal programs during the ongoing partial government shutdown unless they’ve been guaranteed federal reimbursement.

Fallin’s Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger  sent a memo to all state agency directors and finance officers on Fallin’s behalf, urging them to discontinue any federally funded programs that could result in a permanent loss of state funds.

“Unless there is an explicit, mandatory guarantee of federal reimbursement, state agencies should not apply state resources in place of federal funds that are unavailable during the federal government shutdown,” Doerflinger wrote in the memo.

The memo urges agency leaders to notify his office of any extraordinary circumstances that would cause “undue harm to the life and safety of individuals.”

Fallin said the state of Oklahoma simply doesn’t have to the resources to support federal programs with state dollars.

“It’s simple math. The money just isn’t there,” Fallin said in a statement. “Oklahoma can’t and won’t take the federal government’s path of spending money it doesn’t have. The state has its own commitments to meet with very limited state resources. The federal government needs to solve its own problems.”

Fallin said there also is no guarantee the federal government will reimburse states for temporarily funding federal programs.

Officials at the Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Oklahoma Military Department submitted furlough plans last week for nearly 400 state workers whose salaries are funded with federal dollars. Although those furloughs were scheduled to begin this week, state finance officials said Tuesday those furlough plans have been temporarily delayed.

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