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Oklahoma Plans $5.2M Prison Fund Shift (Mar 01, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican leaders in the Oklahoma Legislature have reached a deal to divert $5.2 million within the Department of Corrections to spare the agency from forcing prison guards and other workers to take additional furlough days.

A proposed bill obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday directs the agency to tap money in its prison industries fund. Inmates run farms and make furniture and other goods. Prisons spokesman Jerry Massie says it's not clear what kind of impact the funding shift will have.

Guards and other workers still will take one furlough day a month, but using the industries fund would avoid their having to take up to four days off each month without pay.

The proposed bill is to be presented to a joint House and Senate committee Wednesday.

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