MCLOUD – The Board of Corrections approved unanimously Tuesday the Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ submission of a supplemental appropriation request to the State Legislature.
The approval, which the Board granted during its regular meeting at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center, gives the agency the go-ahead to request $8.75 million from lawmakers.
“This is a necessity,” said ODOC Director Joe M. Allbaugh, of the agency’s request. “Corrections is a critical function of government that must be properly funded. We cannot risk public safety by balancing the budget on the backs of our employees.”
If awarded, the funds would be in addition to the agency’s $485 million Fiscal Year 2018 appropriation.
That appropriation was cut by $3.19 million in February when the legislature failed to agree on revenue-generating measures for Oklahoma’s current budget year, which ends in June.
ODOC’s decision to pursue the supplemental appropriations request comes a month after the agency enacted hiring and purchasing freezes due to the FY 2018 cuts.
The state’s fifth-largest agency has requested $1.53 billion in state funding for next fiscal year, including $813 million for two new medium-security prisons to help the agency retire aging facilities.
Matt Elliott, Communications Director