Half-chewed bullet

The Attorney General offers to take one for the state, kinda sorta:

Attorney General Scott Pruitt sent a letter Monday to Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders, asking that about $6 million in state appropriations for his office be withheld in the next budget in view of financial problems affecting the state.

A hole of about $900 million is expected in the next state budget as revenues have fallen because of a downturn in the oil industry.

Asking for a decrease in the budget? Unpossible!

But that’s not quite the whole picture:

The current fiscal year appropriation to the attorney general’s office is more than $13 million, but the office’s overall budget exceeds $40 million when federal grants, revolving funds, case settlements and legal counsel contracts are considered.

The money Pruitt asked to be withheld represents operations expenditures. This year, operations funds totaled $6.4 million in his budget.

“We’re able to absorb the loss of that appropriations through cost savings in the office,” said Aaron Cooper, a spokesman for Pruitt. He said no salaries would be cut.

The fun part of this, apart from the spectacle of an actual state official asking for less funding, something you don’t see too often, is imagining Mary Fallin’s reaction. I mean, what’s she gonna do, turn Pruitt down?

Note: This was in the Tuesday Oklahoman, page 3A, but I couldn’t find it on NewsOK, and while I am a subscriber and can get through the Oklahoman paywall, you probably aren’t.


  1. McGehee »

    27 January 2016 · 1:55 pm

    Are there term limits on Oklahoma constitutional offices? Might Pruitt be looking upward for 2018?

  2. CGHill »

    27 January 2016 · 2:35 pm

    The AG is indeed term-limited. I have no idea if he has Bigger Things on the Horizon, but I would not be surprised; he did run for Lt Gov in 2006, but lost in the GOP runoff. And he’d be only 50 in 2018.

  3. fillyjonk »

    27 January 2016 · 3:07 pm

    Well, I for one, am grateful there’s at least someone not circling the wagons and going “Everything else in this state can go to hell, I need my full budget.”

  4. jsallison »

    27 January 2016 · 8:47 pm

    6.4 million down, ~893.6 million to go. Next.

  5. ETat »

    28 January 2016 · 7:10 am

    jsallison: Yep.
    $6mln- peanuts.I am not impressed

  6. McGehee »

    28 January 2016 · 8:57 am

    He couldn’t exactly tell he state, which only budgets $6.4 million to his operations budget, to cut it by $7 million, now, could he?

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