Don’t flatten this curve

Much effort has been put into “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. Success in achieving that goal is welcome. What Oklahoma should not do is “flatten the curve” on future economic growth as we emerge from the COVID-19 shutdown, yet it is likely special interest groups will advocate for policies that indirectly achieve that result through a misguided response to state budget challenges.

Current state budget year spending was originally set at $8.13 billion and has been maintained only by drawing down $459 million from savings. That still leaves $534 million in state savings. But even if lawmakers use every dime of savings in the 2021 state budget, they will still have to reduce spending by 7.5 percent. And in the 2022 state budget year, they will have to cut spending by another 8.2 percent based on current projections.

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