Sup­ple­men­tal fund­ing sought by OETA, courts, oth­ers


Tulsa World - - Metro&region - By Randy El­lis

OETA, dis­trict courts and other agen­cies need money to get through fis­cal year.

Six state agen­cies have sub­mit­ted re­quests for sup­ple­men­tal fund­ing to­tal­ing more than $32 mil­lion to help get through the cur­rent fis­cal year that ends June 30.

The to­tal would have been larger, but a re­quest for $7.5 mil­lion to ren­o­vate Ok­la­homa's 90-year-old gover­nor's man­sion was with­drawn af­ter Kevin Stitt was elected gover­nor.

Built in 1928, the gover­nor's man­sion is show­ing its age with prob­lems like rot­ting win­dow sills, creak­ing floor­boards and wa­ter in­fil­tra­tion is­sues. It is also in need of ma­jor up­dates to elec­tri­cal, me­chan­i­cal, plumb­ing and life safety in­fra­struc­ture, of­fi­cials said.

Donelle Harder, spokes­woman for Stitt, said the new gover­nor was not in­volved in the pre­vi­ous fund­ing re­quest or bid and “has re­quested a new bid for the man­sion to en­sure we are be­ing re­spon­si­ble with tax­pay­ers' money.”

A new as­sess­ment of the prop­erty cur­rently is be­ing done to de­ter­mine what im­prove­ments are needed, both short and long term, said Shel­ley Zumwalt, spokes­woman for the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and En­ter­prise Ser­vices. That's go­ing to take time, so the sup­ple­men­tal re­quest was dropped, she said.

By far the largest re­main­ing sup­ple­men­tal fund­ing re­quests come from two agen­cies, the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and En­ter­prise Ser­vices (OMES) and Ok­la­homa Depart­ment of Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion.

OMES is ask­ing the Ok­la­homa Leg­is­la­ture to tap the state's re­serve funds for $16.041 mil­lion to in­crease fund­ing for the agency's in­for­ma­tion ser­vices di­vi­sion. The need for in­creased cy­ber­se­cu­rity to pre­vent data breaches is one of the ma­jor rea­sons the agency cited for its re­quest.

OMES also cited in­creased us­age of the agency's in­for­ma­tional tech­nol­ogy ser­vices by var­i­ous state agen­cies, in­suf­fi­cient rates charged for its ser­vices and a decrease in rev­enue avail­able in the Joint Com­puter En­hance­ment Fund.

Mean­while, the Depart­ment of Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Ed­u­ca­tion is re­quest­ing $11.8

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