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House Votes in Favor of $6.5B State Budget Deal (May 13, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has given final approval to a key piece of a $6.5 billion budget deal to fund state government over the objections of Democrats who say the plan will result in drastic cuts to education and programs for veterans and the elderly.

The Republican-controlled House voted 61-36 on Friday for the bill that will fund state government for the upcoming fiscal year. All of the House Democrats and a handful of disgruntled Republicans voted against the bill.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Earl Sears says the bill is a fair compromise between the Senate and new Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

But Democrats contend Republicans could have eased cuts to state agencies by not allowing a cut in the top income tax rate that will mostly benefit wealthy Oklahomans.

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