Better all the time

“Can’t get no worse,” sniffed Lennon, but then he wasn’t around to see this:

General Revenue Fund collections showed moderate growth in July, Office of State Finance Director Preston Doerflinger said Monday. He also announced that the deposit into the state’s Rainy Day Fund will be $30 million more than originally expected.

“A final reconciliation of all sources contributing to the General Revenue Fund raised the deposit into the Rainy Day Fund to $249.2 million, compared with last month’s estimate of approximately $219 million,” Doerflinger said.

Meanwhile, total GRF collections for the first month of the 2012 fiscal year came in at $385 million, more than enough for agencies to pay state bills for August.

Nothing quite as comforting as having almost a quarter-billion to spare. Then again, it wasn’t so long ago — 2009, specifically — that there was almost $600 million stashed away in what is officially called the Constitutional Reserve Fund. Unlike some other governments we could name, Oklahoma isn’t allowed to run a deficit, so the Fund was repeatedly raided, and the balance dropped to $2.03. That’s two dollars and three cents, which won’t get you so much as a footlong cheese coney from Sonic.

This does not mean we’re out of the woods exactly, and I’m not holding my breath waiting for Washington to borrow some more money to hand out in the guise of “stimulus,” but things look a lot less queasy this summer than they did last summer, not that we’re going to be awash in cash for FY 13 or anything like that.

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