OKLAHOMA CITY — Revenue collections in Oklahoma fell by half a billion dollars in April from a year ago as an economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic swept the state, Treasurer Randy McDaniel said Thursday.


Gross receipts fell $502.5 million to just under $1.1 billion, down 31.8% from April 2019, McDaniel said.


Income tax collections fell by 50.5% to $405.8 million. McDaniel noted that the filing deadline for income taxes was postponed from April 15 until July 15 because of the pandemic.


Gross production taxes on the sale of oil and natural gas totaled $60.7 million, down $19.1 million, or 24%, from last April year, and do not reflect the impact of plunging oil prices because collections are based on February sales when oil was more than $50 per barrel.


Some businesses are reopening under plans announced by Gov. Kevin Stitt, who said Wednesday that those plans are moving forward.


"We are on track to continue with our safely reopening plan ... we are on track to begin Phase II starting May 15," Stitt said.


Phase II includes the reopening of bars, funerals and weddings, and church nurseries under a plan Stitt announced in late April.


Church reopenings


Attorney General Mike Hunter warned the mayor of Norman on Thursday to amend her "Healthier at Home" plan to allow places of worship to open back up. Mayor Breea Clark's current goal calls for places of worship to reopen on May 15.


"I want to remind Mayor Clark that there are important limits on local authority to restrict activity protected by state and federal law, especially any attempt to impose a mandatory block of religious gatherings or a closure of houses of worship," Hunter said in a statement.


Clark did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Oklahoma budget


The Oklahoma House and Senate have begun passing a package of bills that make up the state's $7.7 billion planned budget.


Lawmakers have about $1.3 billion less than anticipated in February.


The budget agreement was reached without the involvement of Stitt's staff. The governor said Wednesday that he's reviewing the proposal.


Virus cases


The state Health Department on Thursday reported 4,330 confirmed cases of the virus, up from more than 4,200 reported Wednesday, and at least 260 deaths, an increase of seven from a day earlier.


The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people haven't been tested and studies suggest people can have the disease without showing symptoms.


For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.