Oklahoma AG says Diversion of Money Unconstitutional

Jun 20, 2014

Scott Pruitt
Credit State of Oklahoma-File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Attorney General's Office says a legislative dictate that diverted almost $7.9 million from the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program is unconstitutional.

The ruling was issued Thursday in an opinion signed by Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick. It was written at the request of House Democratic Leader Scott Inman of Del City, who last week questioned whether the Legislature has the authority to order the Board of Equalization to reduce OHLAP's funding.

OHLAP provides free tuition to Oklahoma students whose family income is $50,000 or less and maintain a certain high-school grade point average. OHLAP serves about 19,000 students at an annual cost of $60 million.

Governor Mary Fallin has asked the board, which certifies revenue figures, to delay action on budget numbers for 2015.