While Oklahoma lawmakers get closer to session's end and wrestle with how to spend surplus revenues, the state's income stream continues to flow like an unimpeded river.

Treasurer Scott Meacham, in a press release this week, reported revenues for April were nearly $135 million above the same month in 2005 and more than $100 million above the estimate.

Year to date collections are more than $390 million over the estimate. Much of that comes from gross production revenues on oil and gas. Income taxes and sales taxes were up too, indicating the strong influence of the oil and gas industry on the state's economy.

Income taxes are up more than $280 million over the original estimates. Sales taxes produced $128 million for the month, nearly 12 percent above the same month in 2005. Investment earnings on state money was also up nearly $4 million for the month.

If the current revenues continue, the state is on track to deposit the maximum allowable amount into the state's rainy day fund, bringing that balance up to nearly $500 million.

Even though revenues from oil and gas are strong, high energy prices will not continue forever. Oklahomans who have lived here a decade or more know just how rapidly the economy can change. After parking some of the cash in the rainy day fund, Oklahoma should invest the surplus in its infrastructure, its workers and educational facilities in order to further diversify and strengthen the state's economy.

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