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Funding Updates - 2004-05

Photo of female student.Updated 6/8/2004

Visit this page to read updates about the progress on Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program funding for the 2004-05 academic year.

June 8, 2004
On May 30, the State Regents allocated $15.1 million to fund Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarships in 2004-05. The Oklahoma Legislature provided an increase of $4.1 million from the $11 million allocated in 2003-04. However, the $4.1 million increase is only one-half of the additional $8.2 million the State Regents requested for Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program cost increases in 2004-05. The remaining $4.1 million has been targeted by the Oklahoma Legislature to be funded from revenue generated by the Indian gaming/horse track gaming initiative that will be subject to a state vote on the November 2, 2004, ballot. The $15.1 million currently allocated for 2004-05 will allow the State Regents to fund Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarships through the fall 2004 semester and at least a portion of the awards for the spring 2005 semester. If state voters do not approve the gaming initiative in November, the State Regents will request a supplemental appropriation of $4.1 million from the Oklahoma Legislature, which will reconvene on February 1, 2005.

May 21, 2004
On May 19, Governor Brad Henry signed SB 1252 into law, which repeals SB 553 (see the updates for March and April below). SB 1252 will automatically subject the issue of gaming at tribal and horseracing facilities to a statewide vote. The issue will be placed on the November 2, 2004, general election ballot. If approved by voters, 12 percent of the revenue received by the state from these activities will be allocated to the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program Trust Fund for scholarships. If the legislation is implemented, it is estimated that the Trust Fund could receive up to $4.1 million during the 2004-05 school year. This $4.1 million is equal to one-half of the projected $8.2 increase in Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarship costs in 2004-05. Total Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarship costs are expected to grow from about $11 million in 2003-04 to $19.2 million in 2004-05. Final funding decisions by the Legislature and the State Regents are expected to be made by Friday, May 28. We will provide another funding update at that point.

April 2004
On April 20, opponents to SB 553 (see the March 2004 update below) filed a petition seeking a statewide vote on the new law that would provide additional revenue for Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarships. Supporters of the petition will need to gather about 52,000 signatures to place the issue on the ballot. If the petition drive is successful, the implementation of SB 553 will be delayed until a referendum can be held to allow state voters to vote in favor or against the law.

March 2004
On March 9, Governor Brad Henry signed SB 553, related to revenue generated by gaming at tribal and horseracing facilities. The bill will allocate 12 percent of the revenue received by the state to the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program Trust Fund. The Office of State Finance has estimated that the state would receive $71 million from the legislation on an annual basis, of which 12 percent , or $8.5 million, will be allocated to the Trust Fund. The $8.5 million would be sufficient to cover the increased cost of Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarships in the 2004-05 academic year. However, the bill's "emergency" provision failed in the House, which means that the bill will not become effective until 90 days after the end of the legislative session on May 28 (making the effective date of the legislation the end of August). The delay in the actual implementation of the bill is expected to reduce the revenue generated during the first year by as much as $25 million. This could reduce the revenue to the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program from $8.5 million to $5.5 million.

February 2004
Governor Brad Henry requested full funding for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program in his budget recommendation following the State of the State Address. The governor specifically recommended an $8.5 million increase in appropriations for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program to fund the projected increase in program costs for 2004-05. Costs for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program are expected to grow from about $11 million in 2003-04 to possibly over $19 million in 2004-05. The additional funding for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program is intended to come from new revenue generated by proposed legislation for gaming at tribal and horse track facilities. Read the press release about the State of the State address. Get more detailed information about the Governor's education proposals. (The higher education portion is pp. 31-40 of the PDF [pp. 161-170 as shown on the actual pages].)

December 2003
The State Regents adopted their legislative agenda for the 2004 legislative session. The Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program was included in the highest priority area, with a request of $8.2 million in additional funding. The requested amount would increase the total funding for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program from $11 million in 2003-04 to $19.2 million in 2004-05. The State Regents are asking legislators to secure the 2004-05 funding for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program early in the legislative session so that students and parents can be assured the scholarship will be fully funded in fall 2004. The Regents also want lawmakers to identify and secure a permanent funding stream for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program so the state will have ample funds each year to cover all the additional students enrolling in the program. Read the Dec. 5, 2003, State Regents' news release regarding their 2004 legislative agenda.

2009-10 Oklahoma's Promise Funding Update
2008-09 Oklahoma's Promise Funding Update
2007-08 Oklahoma's Promise Funding Update
2006-07 Oklahoma's Promise Funding Update
2005-06 Oklahoma's Promise Funding Update
2003-04 Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program Funding Update