Just hours after House Democratic Leader Scott Inman announced that a 'bipartisan' budget deal had been reached, Governor Mary Fallin told reporters Thursday there is no deal. She released the following statement:
“Our state is facing serious budget challenges. It’s important to have thoughtful, honest negotiations with all parties. Let me just start out by stating bluntly – there is no budget deal. First off, if I had reached a budget deal, I would have announced it. House Minority Leader Scott Inman had a meeting yesterday with my senior staff for budget talks, as we have had with the other parties involved. I’ve been working to bring parties together. Any reference to him and me striking a deal must be clarified.
“To bring focus and move the budget process along, I provided legislative leaders of both parties with a worksheet of previously discussed ideas on how to accomplish the goals I placed in my special session call. However, like the public, I am disappointed by the lack of progress in accomplishing these goals almost two weeks after the start of the special session.
“The clock is ticking toward some very serious consequences for nearly one million Oklahomans who depend on services provided by the Department of Mental Health, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Department of Human Services.
“I again urge the Legislature to continue to work diligently to fill the budget hole and put our state on a more stable budget path, as well as provide a needed teacher pay raise. I hope that soon we can announce that there is a budget agreement. But as of right now, let me be clear – if there’s only person at the altar, there is no marriage.”