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Governor, Legislature Close on Budget Agreement (May 06, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY - Senate President Pro Temp Brian Bingman and House Speaker Kris Steele say lawmakers are close to a budget agreement with the governor’s office.

The two legislative leaders say they’re now considering Governor Mary Fallin’s latest counter offer on the budget.

Steele says the legislature and the governor are not far apart.

“We’re together on doing our best to minimize the cuts to education, public safety, transportation, and healthcare services,” Steele said. “But those are big ticket items, obviously, as they pertain to the budget. And so we’re doing our best to minimize the cuts to those entities, and that naturally means that there will be greater cuts to other areas of state government. I think the range of cuts will vary from three percent all the way up to eight to ten percent.”

Those cuts are on top of falling state budgets since 2008.

Governor Fallin says she is also waiting on the budget to see if some of her earlier fiscal proposals, like consolidation of state information technology services, win legislative approval.

by Brian Hardzinski

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